The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership this week maintained that all was well in the national Under 17 football camp after somewhat controversial appointments that have allegedly incensed head coach Kagiso Kobedi.
The BFA recently appointed Ramocha Tsiang as the team manager replacing Rapelang Tsatsilebe. Former Gaborone United spokesperson Romeo Benjamin has been appointed as security manager while Ernest Dintweng has been appointed kit manager. These appointments come only three months before the team competes at the CAF Africa Youth championships scheduled for April.
According to sources close to the matter, Kobedi was not consulted when the appointments were made which had the potential to throw the under 17 technical team into confusion. The Under 17 national team or Diamond Zebras are the only Southern African team that has qualified for finals of the prestigious youth showpiece following an inspired qualifying campaign.
“Why would you want to change something that works so well at this crucial time?” the source said, adding that new members of the technical team need to be orientated. The source said the current technical team had built a solid relationship with the parents of the players and bringing new faces into the team would be a setback at this stage.
Speaking to BG Sport this week the BFA interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tariq Babitseng said the beginning of the year was the right time to appoint new people in the technical team. Babitseng explained that if people were not competent in the position they held in the team they would be replaced.
“This is not a job you apply for or are expected to earn money from, people are in as volunteers,” he said. According to Babitseng, the appointment of security manager came at a crucial time when the 2013 CAF youth tournament is near. “We are going into a tournament where there is an influx of football agents.
We need someone to tell them that our players are protected,” he said, adding that the kit manager’s position was also important because they were going to play in a high profile tournament. According to Babitseng, other crucial positions like that of personal trainer, physiotherapist and psychologist where also filled.
“We have increased the number of people in the technical team because we were understaffed,” he said. Meanwhile, Babitseng said he did not have the results of the eight under 17 players who were sitting for their form III final examinations.
The BFA boss said they were waiting for government to release the final results in the midst of the controversy surrounding the new grading system. He said it might take another six weeks to release the final and correct results. “Our vision, though we have not shared with the government yet is to use the centres of excellence where the majority of players would be in the same place,” he explained.
“Three of the players did not write their Form 3 examination because we together with their parents felt that they were not ready, the other players are doing Form 4 and 5,” he said. The coach is also allegedly upset that the team has not gone into camp yet. When reached for comment, Kobedi referred this publication back to the BFA.