According to fresh information coming out of Botswana Football Association (BFA) this week, the Association is busy looking for a perfect replacement for the senior national team head coach, David Bright who might be sacked anytime soon. BFA spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane has however, laughed off the matter when reached this week, “We are not talking to Zapata, that is false, we have a contract with Bright and not looking for a coach,” he said.
In fact, BG Sport has been reliably informed that one of the candidates that have caught the attention of BFA is Township Rollers Head Coach, Rodolfo Zapata.Nevertheless the Argentine , who is yet to start his work at Rollers, is said to be currently in talks with BFA. According to a source that preferred anonymity at BFA, the Association has lost all the trust in the current coach and will move swiftly to replace him. Performance is dwindling at Zebras and it is totally going against what the BFA had been promising to deliver in recent years.
Bright was appointed as the senior team head coach last year on a three year contract basis. His charges were recently tossed out of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers and according to FIFA rankings, Botswana is currently at position 145.Nevertheless, Bright was addressed as ‘ancient’ by one influential official at BFA when asked what the future holds for the senior team head coach. “We have so much to deal with at the moment, that one is ancient,” the official said.
Zapata who seems to be a man in demand signed a contract with Rollers a month back which according to unconfirmed allegations, runs till 2019. However, he has not resumed work yet as his work permit is said to be pending at the Department of Immigration. On the other side, his former Club Gaborone United (GU) is alleged to have finally made contact with the coach in recent developments asking him to return to GU and complete what he had started before resigning early this year.
GU is alleged to be deliberately sabotaging the deal between Rollers and Zapata by stalling to cancel the work permit,they ( GU) had with Zapata. The GU permit is expected to expire in June 2019. This has since brought matters to a total stand still with Zapata not able to begin his duties at Rollers.
Now as it stands, the decision solely lies with the Argentine coach, GU is reported to be owing him over P300 000 but with the team having reunited with sponsor Nicholas Zackhem, anything is possible. Also this publication can confirm that during his troubled days at GU, Zapata hinted that he admired coaching Rollers, a job he now holds.
He also jokingly said he would not mind coaching the Zebras at one point, now that might just turn out to reality too. The move to the Zebras would not be so far- fetched considering that Zapata mentored some of the current national team squad while at GU. The likes of Mpho Kgaswane, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Alphonse Modisaotsile and Tumisang Orebonye.
BFA has of recent been reinforcing measures and focusing more energy on youth development, the mandate goes in line with the language that Zapata is known for; focusing more on grooming youngsters than relying more on senior players. BG Sport failed to get any response from Zapata as the coach could not respond to all messages sent to him and efforts made to reach him. However he had at an earlier stage said that he was in no position to discuss anything even his contract with Rollers.