The Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) is embroiled in a wrangle over who should take over the national team in the absence of head coach Khumiso Ikgopoleng. The national team is expected to compete at the crucial Zone IV games this week.
However, sources close to the association this week alleged that Ikgopoleng had resigned from his position for a more lucrative job abroad. This is a claim Ikgopoleng vehemently denied this week. Nevertheless, Ikgopoleng confirmed that he will be away on business in Switzerland when the national team competes in the crucial Zone IV in South Africa next week. In his place there will be three junior coaches expected to accompany the team to Pretoria. The three coaches are Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, Othusitse Mogotsakgotla and Emmanuel Galeboe. Their appointment allegedly did not go down well with some BoBA affiliates.
An inside boxing source who prefers anonymity said the three coaches did not qualify to lead the national team to the regional tournament next week. “Instead, they should have selected experienced coach Thebe Setlalekgosi to lead the team to Zone IV,” said the BoBA source. He argued that only Setlalekgosi and Ikgopoleng were three-star level boxing coaches in the country and qualified to mentor the team at international competitions. “The three coaches do not qualify as none of them holds a three-star qualification.” Setlalekgosi has previously been an assistant to Ikgopoleng on recent international assignments.
He also led the team at the 2012 Africa boxing cup. In an interview with BG Sport this week, BoBA spokesperson Kenny Maragana said the association’s executive committee have not sat and discussed the matter with Setlalekgosi who coaches at the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) Boxing club. In their view Setlalekgosi as a high-ranking coach should automatically take over when Ikgopoleng is not available. “Setlalekgosi is involved in his own political affairs,” said Maragana referring to the coach’s political career as a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor for Mookane village. He argued that Setlalekgosi might not be fully committed to the national team.
Maragana added that selecting the national team coaches was the discretion of both the technical department and BoBA executive committee. “They are the ones who give the green light as to who coaches the team.” Maragana argued that there was need to build a strong national team including bringing in new coaches to the national team. Meanwhile, Maragana said the national team was currently on camp and engaging on rigorous sparring sessions to help finalise the final national team by Friday. The national team is expected to leave for the 2015 Zone IV games on Monday. Setlalekgosi declined to comment on the matter when contacted this week.