It is now in the open, the Botswana senior national team coach, Peter James Butler is a frustrated man. This comes after his troops were stunned after a home defeat by Mauritania in the first match of the Afcon 2019 Qualifiers over the weekend at Francistown Stadium.
In his post match interview the Briton could not hide his dissatisfaction on a number of issues stating that there is lot of sabotage within the Association which he believes continues to hinder the progress of the team.”There are too many people here at BFA who have been there for too long and it needs to be changed, it needs to be cleaned, I am fed up to the back teeth by people trying to cause problems then come and pretend to be your friends but behind your back they sabotage your program,” fumed Butler.
Butler’s comments comes after a fortnight ago when he was forced to travel with a thin squad of 14 players for a training camp in Morocco as four players and two officials were turned back in Johannesburg on their way to Morocco with the team following a series of errors on their visa applications by the local football governing body.
Information reaching this publication is that prior to the game on Friday the Minister of Youth Empowerment,Sports and Culture development Hon. Thapelo Olopeng visited the players on camp and it is reported that the players raised their concerns to the Minister about their welfare and outstanding allowances of previous games and the Morocco camp, it was then that the Minister promised to forward their concerns to the relevant authorities
It is alleged that on Saturday some of the players who did not make the trip to Morocco tried to enquire about why their allowances were much low(reported around P500) than others who were raking more than P3000, raising a possibility of those distressed players boycotting the game pending satisfactory answers pertaining to the issue.
However it is reported a hotel bust occurred when the Chief Executive Officer of the Football Association Ookeditse Malesu stormed in the middle of the team talk exchanging a couple of words in a heated argument with the coach and shouted at players asking what is wrong. The claim has since been dismissed by the association.
He had promised to solve the issue it is then that Butler reportedly left the hotel room out of frustration before even wrapping up the team talk. It is believed Butler was trying to justify that the CEO was addressing the issue on a wrong forum. Nevertheless the team took it upon themselves to shrug off the incident and go on with the match.
Butler fielded a youthful starting X1 with South African Premier League Champion with Bid Vest Wits Mogakolodi Ngele led the team as the captain as the team’s appointed captain Ofentse Nato watched from the bench. Butler defended his decision for the lineup explaining his bold decisions, “I did not go out today with a young or old team, I picked a team for the future because I care about Botswana, I can accept criticism when its fair, Batswana are very supportive of me, His Excellency The President Khama and his office, Minister of Sports and we also have the backing of the President of the Association but still there are people sabotaging those around us,” claimed a seemingly frustrated Butler.
However the Spokesperson of the Association Tumo Mpatane highlighted that he is not aware of anything the coach was referring to on his post match comments, “look from where I am sitting I have a good relationship with coach so for now I cannot point at any direction to which the coach is referring to,” said Mpatane.
When quizzed about the hotel bust up Mpatane said, “I am also not aware of such because I was at the stadium preparing for the game and I am not sure if the CEO met the coach and the team at any given point on that particular day, as for the allowances I can only say from the onset they were never going to be same as some travelled to Morocco while others did not make the trip hence the differences I am not sure how they misunderstood that,” stated Mpatane.
Meanwhile Butler will be hoping his side will bounce back from the disappointing defeat as they prepare for the COSAFA Cup scheduled in the coming weeks in South-Africa. The team is expected join back on camp again on Wednesday to start the preparations.