Alleged bidding war for Zapata thickens

Neo Masanako - BG Correspondent
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Alleged bidding war for Zapata thickens

Three business tycoons, Gaborone United sponsor Nicholas Zakhem, President of Township Rollers Jagdish Shah and Botswana Football Association (BFA) President Maclean Letshwiti are allegedly after Rodolfo Zapata’s coaching services, BG Sport has learnt.

From a distance, it might seem that Shah has beaten all to the chase as Zapata put pen to paper at Rollers last month, however fresh information reaching this publication suggests that the race for Zapata’s attention is pretty much ongoing.In fact, according to those paying close attention to the developments, it is alleged that even Zapata himself is torn between the three gentlemen. Zapata is yet to officially start work at Rollers, with a pending work permit, however reliable anonymous sources have recently linked him with BFA, saying he might land the job as the next Zebras coach. 

Letshwiti and Zapata are said to be the best of buddies. Letshwiti is alleged to be one of those admiring Zapata’s coaching abilities. Nevertheless, BFA has since denied any interest in Zapata and maintains that they will not be releasing the current coach Major David Bright anytime soon.

As for Zakhem, who only returned to GU this year following a fallout with Moyagoleele in 2016, has evidently enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Zapata. This was out for all to see back in the days when Zapata was still GU coach. Actually, things began souring for Zapata once Zakhem decided to pull out; the Argentine coach tried to soldier on until he finally decided to resign and took up a job in Kenya early this year. Now with Zakhem back at GU and Zapata back in the country, it is alleged that Zakhem would love nothing more than GU to reunite with Zapata.

It is further alleged that it was Zakhem who spearheaded the idea of stalling to cancel Zapata' s working permit with GU to prevent him from starting work at Rollers. GU finally wrote the release letter after a good month of waiting. Zakhem said that it should be known that Zapata is contracted to Rollers and as for GU, they are happy with Makwengwe. However, he noted that the coach’s contract ends this season and they might consider extending it. “We have a good coach in Phillimon Makwengwe and we are happy with his performance,” Zakhem said this week in an interview. 

Shah was reported to be the man envying the services of Zapata long before the coach took the Kenya job. By then, Rollers was still under the watchful eye of Coach Nikola Kavazovic. Rollers was alleged to be already looking for a replacement in Zapata if Kavazovic ever decided to leave. When Kavazovic finally left, Rollers swiftly moved to bring Zapata back to Botswana.
It is alleged that Shah even paid for Zapata’s flights to Botswana. It might devastate him should the Argentine coach decides to abandon Rollers for either BFA or GU.

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