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Amrouche’s frustrations

MQONDISI DUBE
Amrouche PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
It has been a rocky start for new Zebras coach, Adel Amrouche, who is frustrated with the conduct of some officials at the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

Amrouche arrived at the end of August, and signed a three-year deal, with the aim of taking the Zebras to the second Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) appearance.

But some of his plans have been frustrated at Lekidi Centre, a source said. The source said the coach was left disappointed after his intention to take the Zebras to the UB Stadium for the Algeria encounter was leaked to his opponents.

It is said that the coach wanted to take the game to UB Stadium, as it is compact, and have an afternoon kick-off to maximise on home ground ‘advantage’.

This would have, the source said, worked against Algerians who are used to wider pitches, and evening temperatures. But the plan was reportedly leaked to the Algerians.

“The coach found out that his plan has been leaked to the Algerians, and was not happy with that,” the source said.

The Zebras will play the Algerians at the National Stadium later this month. The other issue which has left the Belgian, who is of Algerian descent, unhappy is the failure to take decisive action against players who shun national team call-ups.

Amrouche travelled to Egypt last month, minus some of the players he had called-up, notably from Jwaneng Galaxy and Gaborone United.

“The coach wanted to see action, as he wants to instill discipline within the team,” the source said. Amrouche has already left out four players who were caught drinking while on national team camp.

There has been no action from the BFA, a move, which has

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reportedly left the coach frustrated as well.

The four players are unlikely to form part of the squad to face Zimbabwe and Algeria in back-to-back AFCON qualifiers.If Amrouche omits the players who did not honour his call-up, the coach would be left with a very thin squad to choose from.

Amrouche is expected to name his squad today, for next week Friday’s encounter against Zimbabwe, which has been shifted from Bulawayo to Harare.

Amrouche was not immediately available to comment on the concerns.

Regarding action against players who fail to honour call-ups, BFA general manager- football operations, Monnakgotla Mojaki said the concerned players will not be considered.

“They will not be considered until it is clear why they didn’t (honour the call-up), and or, action has been taken,” Mojaki said.

On the four players found drinking alcohol on duty, Mojaki said the association was developing a code of conduct.

“We will discuss it with the players through the players’ union so that they are governed properly and we can know right from wrong, and which action can be taken for any offence,” he said.

The four players remain sidelined. On the Algeria game being taken to the UB Stadium, Mojaki said the venue has not been registered with CAF.

“The plan was there (to take the game to the UB Stadium), but CAF decided the venue and date without proper consultation, which they were supposed to follow. We are, however, yet to register the UB Stadium as it has not been inspected,” Mojaki said.



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