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Zebras have chance to qualify for AFCON

Botswana Football Association (BFA) has urged Batswana to support the senior national football team amidst rumors that players and the technical team are at loggerheads.

Speaking in an interview, BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane, said Zebras stood a chance to qualify for AFCON, noting that it was important to unite in supporting the team.

He said BFA supported the Zebras coach, Adel Amrouche and believed that he would send the team to the second appearance at AFCON.

Mpatane stated that the coach would select a 23 men squad out of 30 men squad selected on the first session of the camp, which he would assess before selecting the final squad to face Zimbabwe and Algeria.

He noted that players were putting all their effort to prove that they would deliver, adding that the camp had been affected by injuries of players.

BFA spokesperson stated that the second session of the camp was expected on March 1, adding that they believed all players would be available including those who left the camp due to injuries.

He further noted the three players that left the camp were Lesenya Ramoraka, Tshepo Maikano and Mishani Thupa from Gaborone united.

Mpatane noted that Ramoraka and Thupa left the camp due to injuries while Maikano left the camp due to personal issues.

He noted that Thupa and Ramoraka were assessed by the national team doctor, adding that there would be another assessment for a second opinion on their injuries.

BFA spokesperson noted that Maikano assured the technical team that he would be available for the next call-up.

According to a BFA statement  dated February 18, a new team manager, Harry Koata, had been appointed to primarily act as a link between the technical team and secretariat.

Koata is  Masitaoka general manager.

“The BFA acting technical director, Dr Carolin Bruan, continues to assist the technical team whenever she is free. Due to the COVID-19 pandemi, some of Dr Bruan projects supported by the German Olympic Sports Confederation which she heads in her two years stay in Botswana has been put on halt due to travel restrictions”, wrote BFA acting CEO, Thabiso Kebotsamang.

Kebotsamang said regarding the allegations that the national team gaffer preferred to work with expatriates as opposed to locals, he said as per international practice, coaches always chose to bring their support staff ranging from assistant coach, video analyst and physical trainer, so Amrouche brought in Christophe Baudez while the rest of the technical team were Batswana.

Assistant Coach Kgwengwenyane's no show in the current camp was because he had asked to be excused due to c commitment with his employer Botswana Defence Force and he will be available in the next camp, Kebotsamang said.

He said the technical team had been advised against playing local teams as their lack of action mighty result in the squad sustaining injuries adding that talks with Rwanda also fell off due to the prevailing pandemic.

In the AFCON group, Botswana is in position three with four points just ahead of Zambia who had three points. 

Algeria is leading the pack with 10 points while Zimbabwe is second with five points. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Tebogo Lephogole

Location : GABORONE

Event : Interview

Date : Feb 21 Sun,2021

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