The national Under-17 football coach, Boniface Lekaba will not travel with the team for their crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier encounter against Zambia, according to the Botswana Football Association (BFA). The BFA said Lekaba has been held up by work commitments and will be replaced by Tapaphiwa Gaebolae.
“The young girls will be under the mentorship of coach Tapaphiwa Gaebolae who replaces both coach Boniface Lekaba and coach Temogo Benjamin who have had to remain behind due to work commitments. Coach Gaebolae will be assisted by Barobi Ngwako and goalkeeper coach Israel Molao,” the statement reads.
Gaebolae becomes the third face to take charge of the team in a space of just four months. In June at the National Women Football annual general meeting, Benjamin was announced as the head coach but she was replaced with Lekaba prior to the start of the team’s training camp last week.
Lekaba’s absence could be a big blow for the team as the tactician as proven that his capability as he led the BISA girls team to a third consecutive COSSASA gold medal this year at the Lesotho games.
Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, BFA marketing and communications officer, Tumo Mpatane said Lekaba who is a teacher, had matters
“The coach had to withdraw from camp because he had a call last night (Wednesday) asking him to come back to work. Remember that he is teacher and his school called him,” Mpatane said.
He, however said the team’s preparations for the crucial encounter against their Zambian counterparts will not be affected as Gaebolae served as Lekaba’s assistant.
“We were aware, to a degree, that the coach might report back to work hence why he had two assistant coaches in Ngwako and Gaebolae.”
Botswana faces Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium on Sunday at 4pm as they eye a good start to their World Cup qualifiers campaign.
The return leg will be played in a fortnight in Botswana at a venue yet to be decided. The winner of the two-legged tie would face South Africa for a place in the group stages. The team is expected back home on Monday.