GABORONE, Botswana, February 18, 2020/ — The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has vehemently denied damning social media reports claiming harassment of national team players currently on camp, racism and maladministration.
In light of the recent allegations, the BFA CEO, Thabiso Kebotsamang has categorically dispelled the circulating media reports as fabrications. Kebotsamang has assured all football stakeholders that everything is in order within the national team camp, with players and coach amicably working together as they prepare to lift the country’s flag high by yearning for six-points at the upcoming 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers between Zimbabwe and Algeria next month (March).
Kebotsamang confirmed that from the initial 30-man provisional squad which was called to camp by head coach, Adel Amrouche, only three players have thus far left camp due to various reasons known to the BFA. The three are Lesenya Ramoraka of Orapa United, Tshepo Maikano and Mishani Thupa from Gaborone United. Kebotsamang explained that Ramoraka and Thupa left due to injuries.
“He came to be assessed by our national team doctor as the coach can pick a player with an injury and assess through latter for a second opinion on their injuries, while Maikano left on personal matters. All I know is that he has assured the technical team he will certainly be happy for the next call up.
Furthermore, to solidify and strengthen the national team, a new team manager, Harry Koata has been appointed. Koata is the Botswana Football League’s club, Masitaoka FC general manager. His role is to primarily act as liaison between the technical team and the secretariat.
Kebotsamang further assured the football fraternity all is well within the Zebras camp courtesy of a solid and well-versed technical team. On issues of racism, the CEO dismissed everything as untruthful adding that the BFA has no room for such to prevail.
“The nation would care to note that the Zebras’ technical team is led by coach Adel Amrouche, assisted by Letang Kgangwenyane of BDF XI (local), and goalkeeper coach Kagiso Tshelametsi of Sua Flamingos (local) whilst the physical trainer is Christophe Baudez. The BFA acting technical director Dr. Carolin Bruan continues to assist the technical team whenever she’s free. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, some of Dr. Braun’s projects supported by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) which she heads in her 2-year stay in Botswana have been put on hold as there are travel restrictions around the country including government’s decision to halt meetings or engagements of 50 people or more,” added Kebotsamang.
Regarding allegations that the national team coach prefers to work with expatriates as opposed to locals, Kebotsamang affirmed that as per international practice coaches always choose to bring their own support staff ranging from assistant coach, video analyst and physical trainer, and in Adel case he brought in only Baudez while the rest of the technical team is made up of Batswana.
Meanwhile, assistant coach, Kgwengwenyane’s no show in the current camp is because he had asked to be excused due to current commitments with his employer, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and that he will be available in the next camp.
In preparing the team, the BFA says its working around the clock to secure international friendlies but due to Covid-19, nations are reluctant to travel or play host. “Our technical team has also advised against playing local teams as their lack of action may result in the squad sustaining injuries. The talks with Rwanda FA also fell off due to the prevailing pandemic.”
The first camp is expected to end on Saturday, February 20th.
“Due to no action of the league, we intended on having longer camps purposely for the coach to fully assess his squad. The next camp is expected to resume on March 1st until the next fixtures with Zimbabwe and Algeria. Internationally-based players are expected to join the next camp as preparations for The Zebras’ yearn for glory intensify,” concluded Kebotsamang.