IF former Zebras headcoach, Peter James Butler- the Englisman who unceremoeously dumped the senior national team following a lucrative job offer in the neighbouring South Africa- had his way, then he would come back to Lekidi as the new Technical Director.
“To be honest I wanted the TD job, but the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has refused,” said the outspoken Butler in an exclusive interview this week.
As things stand, Butler prefers to coach in Africa more than any other continent. The UK native has been the senior national team coach for over two years until his depature earlier this year. The polarising coach rejected a contract extension with the BFA ealier this year and crossed over to South Africa where he was offered a job by the Rustenburg based premier league side, Platinum Stars. Neverthelss, Butler’s new gig was brief, he was sent packing after losing his first two league matches in what the management termed as poor relationship between him and the players.But by hook or crook, Butler wanted to come back to finish off what he believed he started at Lekidi, but this did not come to fruition. Speaking to BG Sport this past Wednesday from his native ,United Kingdom Butler confirmed that he was offered the job. The former Zebras coach was quick to respond. “I would have love to finish off what I started, but the BFA said they have no funds to pay for my salary”.
However, numerous factors came into play on why he has not been offered the job. Key amongst them was delay in signing a contract with him as BFA had to sort out for funding before it could commit to such an expensive contract .
Allegations of the maverick coach coming back to Botswana started swirling fast after he was seen with the BFA president, Mclean Letshwiti in Gaborone last month. On Wednesday morning, Butler confirmed to BG Sport that he met with him (Letshwiti). "He declared his interest, and I also declared my interests." “Originally I had offers somewhere, but I turned them down because, I wanted to make a decision if I wish to stay in Africa or go to Asia. I opted to stay in Africa, but it took longer than I had anticipated due to lack of funding from the BFA part,” Butler said.
“I wanted to finish off what I started because as many are aware, I put together a features programme for the Under 20s. It was a self funding. First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) showed interest and it was going to be a P1.2m project per annum at no costs to the BFA,”he said. “I brought together 35 U 20 teams and developed an U20 league and it was rolling on lovely. But the project was ditched as soon as I left. Today they are saying the U 20 will not compete in COSAFA tournament. “I was very upset; the move crashes the hopes and dreams of all those youngsters I identified from as far as Kasane, Maun, and Francistown etc.” Butler who is well known for confrontational behavior and wild celebration when his team scores continue took a swipe at the BFA saying, “The senior national team is very not pleasing. Its selection saddens me .It hurts to see all the old players being drafted in the team at the expense of young and talented players’’.Butler’s best result was reaching the finals of COSAFA senior challenge cup in Namibia and winning a bronze after losing 3-2 through controversial refereeing by a Zambia referee last year. In that team he had a mixture of the old and young
For his part , BFA president MacLean Letshwiti confirmed having had a meeting with Butler. I had interest in him to take over our development programmes because I believe he is a good development coach, But unfortunately we could not get him because of funding.