GABORONE, BOTSWANA, October 2019 — When national team coach, Adel Amrouche recently made headlines for suspending four players for their alleged wayward drinking behavior while on national duty, this set many tongues wagging including that of former Zebras and current Liberian gaffer, Peter James Butler.
The never to shy away from commenting Butler whose rants on social media (Twitter) always attract repudiation from annoyed flag-wavers might have been encouraged due to the fact that the two nations met in a friendly match during Botswana’s 53rd Independence in Gaborone recently.
However, Amrouche who was addressing the media on Monday before their departure to Egypt where they will play a friendly match with the Pharaohs said he is not in Botswana to make friends but to rather ‘honestly’ coach the Zebras and make them formidable.
The friendly match is scheduled for October 14 and the Zebras will spend a week in North Africa undergoing intensive training. Botswana is preparing to play Zimbabwe and Algeria in a back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.
Without mincing any words, the Belgian coach sternly warned the media to get their facts right before publishing untruths and also threatened he will sue.
“I am from the training grounds this morning and I expect to see the auditorium full of journalists because we have to respect each other’s time. I am open to the media but I won’t allow anyone to drag my name or write lies about me. I know the culture of the media, some are given stipends by certain administrators, players and all stakeholders involved to slander innocent people – it happens worldwide but under my watch that won’t happen.
They say I earn P250 000 and I will give them my contract to show me that money. I earned that when I started coaching in 2001. I have never put money first. I have won my cases both with CAF and Kenya, so be warned,” an aggrieved Amrouche said.
Concerning his chopped technical personnel, Amrouche said if affinity is not there, the relationship wont work thus some of his staff have to go including team manager Thapelo Mothusi.
He however said former goalkeeper coach was dropped so he can focus on his club Galaxy FC.
Nonetheless, all at Lekidi Football Centre were waiting to see how the Zebras coach will react to utterances by Liberian coach Butler recently.
Butler was quoted saying, “You cannot change the social culture of Botswana. This is where I think the new coach is going to have problems. You have to work with and around the drinking culture while you are educating the younger ones. It is a generational thing. It will take years of education,” and Amrouche reacted by saying such is stupid.
“I am not here to listen to advice of other coaches of other nations. If he thinks alcohol is good for Botswana football, he’s part of the regime that don’t want Botswana football to grow. In my camp it’s all about discipline, I have suspended some players and they will have to prove to me that they have changed their mindset. They can drink elsewhere but not under the zebras badge. I don’t drink and my players won’t drink. Do we have players playing in top leagues? No, it’s because of this stupid thinking, we have quality players here that can compete. I came for the challenge. It’s stupidity to say alcohol is good for players,” said Amrouche.
In his closing bill of his camp, the former MC Algers coach said he is happy with the report from his scouts in Europe about the prospects of Renei Batlokwa who plies his trade in England.