Amantle Montsho's coach, Anthony Koffi has wasted no time in taking a dig at the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), accusing the local sports body of shattering in two weeks, what he had built in six years.
Koffi said his presence in London could have made a difference and he expected Montsho to get at least a silver medal. Montsho could only finish fourth and therefore missed out on a maiden Olympic medal. The Ivorian coach told Mmegi Sport that he expected to be in London, but a botched VISA process meant he remained stranded in Italy.
Koffi said he was supposed to arrive in London on August 1, two days before Montsho's first heat. Initially, Koffi was on the list of people who were supposed to be accredited by his association in Ivory Coast. He however, said he declined the Ivorian offer as it came after the BNOC had indicated that it would handle the process.
"Ivory Coast proposed to make accreditation for me after Botswana's promise. I could not have two accreditations, which is why I turned it down (sic)," said Koffi, whose first language is French. He said he received a message from the BNOC that his accreditation was ready on July 23, but did not receive papers to enable him to process his VISA.
Koffi said he requested the BNOC to send a copy of the accreditation document to Italy where he was at the time so that he could process his VISA. However, he said he did not receive anything and when he sort help at the British Embassy in Italy, he was told that the VISA would only be ready on August 7.
"I then cancelled the application as Amantle finished her races on August 5," Koffi said. He believes Montsho could have gone and grabbed at least silver if he were in London. "She was ready to get a minimum of silver in London. She only needed one sentence...'make your race don't wait' (sic). I think my presence was important at this moment, imagine Real Madrid in the Champions League final without (coach), Jose Mourinho?"
Apparently, Koffi had already expressed his disappointment in an e-mail sent to the BNOC, which the coach availed to Mmegi Sport. In the e-mail, Koffi told BNOC chief executive officer (CEO), Tuelo Serufho that although nothing would bring 'the missing medal' what was built in six years, had been destroyed in two weeks.
Although Serufho has preferred to wait for a report on the Olympic Games, it is reported that investigations are already underway to establish what really transpired. The BNOC had bought the coach tickets to Montsho's event and facilitated his access to the training facilities. Koffi had been included as the sixth official in Botswana's travelling delegation. It however, remains unclear how the accreditation documents were not sent to Italy as Koffi had requested. Again, the investigation is expected to centre on how the coach left the whole process until the 11th hour. Serufho has promised that action will be taken if negligence is dictated.