There is more to the recent departure of Township Rollers, coach Mark Harrison than meets the eye. On the surface, it is the story of the nomadic coach finding greener pastures in South Africa at Premier Soccer League side, Baroka FC. Beneath the surface, there is suspicion that both Township Rollers and Harrison only took advantage of a long time offer at Baroka to quickly sneak the gaffer out of the country and stay clear of looming trouble with the African football governing body, CAF.
The recent resignation of a Botswana Football Association's long serving employee is also linked to what amounts to a fraud scandal that is traced to Lesotho where Harrison was dubiously awarded a CAF rated coaching licence required for one to coach in the CAF Champions League. The erstwhile BFA officer is said to have aided Harrison's acquisition of the bogus licence, and his resignation has been linked to the matter as he is said to have known that somehow this matter would be exposed. Reports suggest that Baroka FC had long offered Harrison a job, with Rollers managing to keep the South African side at bay by satisfying the coach.
At the realisation that trouble was looming in relation to Harrison's coaching credentials, Baroka FC was revisited and an agreement was reached, ensuring that Rollers would not answer questions relating to the dubious qualifications of the coach. But BG Sport is informed that Rollers already have a letter from the BFA that asked the league champions to explain the anomaly. This, it is understood, was after CAF had sought a similar explanation from the BFA after Harrison's name had been submitted for the impending CAF Champions League games.
But the premiership champions this week denied any knowledge of their former coach being investigated by the Botswana Football Association. Rollers spokesperson Bafana Pheto said they were not aware of any investigations being carried out by the football governing body. Pheto said he has not heard anything from the media regarding the matter. He added that such issue may be involving Harrison as an individual.
“We had submitted the names of the players with CAF going into the competition, which included the coach. If he did not have the right qualifications they would have rejected him,” Pheto said. Pheto insisted that Harrison had the right qualifications to coach at Rollers. He argued that the team would have not hired Harrison if this was not the case.Meanwhile, Pheto said they are going ahead with their CAF champions' league campaign despite losing the coach. “The resignation of the coach was not planned. The competition requires a CAF A licence but the team will be coached by Teenage Mpote who possesses a CAF B licence.”