Butler throws tantrums as Zebras suffer shock defeat

Bakang Mhaladi

Gaborone – The Botswana Football Association (BFA) and national team coach, Peter Butler were involved in a series of meetings this week to try and find common ground after the Briton lashed out at his employers at the weekend.

Butler had watched his charges slump to a shock 1-0 home defeat to Mauritania and immediately laid into his employers in an unexpected attack.

The former West Ham United midfielder accused his employ- ers of failing to back his project in a scathing attack which threw the leadership into a panic mode.

On Tuesday, the two parties were scheduled to hold the first meeting in a bid to find out what the underlying issues were.

“What goes outside is totally unacceptable. We are happy with the president, Maclean Letshwiti but there is a problem with people around him. We wonder if they are with us or not. I am fed up to the back teeth.

“They should stop sabotaging those who want to do good for the nation,” Butler said after the Mau- ritania defeat at the team’s favoured Francistown Sports Complex.

Butler further said his pre-match talk was disrupted just before kick-off when the BFA chief exec- utive officer, Ookeditse Malesu addressed players on the issue of outstanding allowances.

The coach said the meeting had disturbed his players’ focus as they appeared lethargic in the opening minutes.

“There are scheduled meetings with the coach,” BFA public rela- tions officer, Tumo Mpatane said. Butler sees BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti as the only man who has offered undivided support to the national team and wants the Englishman rewarded with a new three year contract.

The BFA has been hesitant in offering Butler a fresh deal, instead opting to extend his contract with three months after his three year contract expired at the end of March.

There is division with the BFA top brass, with some opposed to a new mandate for the well-travelled coach.

While Butler is holding out for a new deal, the weekend out- burst could well scupper negotiations, and instead, sour relations in an already uneasy arrangement.

Butler is reportedly ready to quit, although his first option is to nego- tiate and stay. He has been further frustrated by late payment of allowances.

In addition, Butler was fresh from a shock defeat after watch- ing his charges dominate only to be let down by poor shooting.

Mauritania did not hesitate to punish the Zebras’ profligacy with a late winner which leaves Botswana’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations hopes hanging by a thread. Their other opponents are Angola and Burkina Faso.

Zebras had only lost once at the Francistown Sports Complex, but Soudani Abdallahi’s strike further spoiled the record.

The home team had numerous opportunities, with South African based, Mogalodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele ejecting the fans from their seats, only for his curling effort to crash against the cross bar in the 20th minute, the Zebras came to scoring.

June 2017
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