Gaborone United (GU) played their BTC Premiership match against Township Rollers without their head coach, Rodolfo Zapata who has since relocated to east Africa. The two parties ended their relationship on Friday after months of speculation on the coach’s exit.
Zapata left the country on Friday afternoon to Kenya where he would be meeting Kenyan Premier League club, AFC Leopards over a head coach job offer.
Speaking to The Monitor whilst waiting at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport to board an airplane to the Eastern African nation, the Argentine confirmed he would miss the Gaborone derby as he was going for negotiations with Leopards bosses over the weekend. “Unfortunately (I would miss the derby). On Tuesday I received an offer from AFC Leopards. I am at the airport ready to go and negotiate,” Zapata briefly said without giving much details on the matter.
The outspoken tactician, took to social media on Saturday evening to announce his appointment at the Kenyan giants on a six-month contract.
The coach had previously hinted that he would be leaving the financially-strained GU but would wait for the current campaign to end. “There is no money at GU, the players are owed money, I am owed some money. There is talk that the club will reduce the players’ salaries to a manageable wage bill, with that it would be hard to compete with the likes of Rollers, (Jwaneng) Galaxy and Orapa (United),” he
GU are currently enduring a rough spell off the field as players have continuously boycotted training citing unpaid dues. The team arrived late for their league game against relegation- threatened Uniao Flamingo Santos where they lost 2-1. The management held a meeting with players and the technical team on Thursday where it was resolved that training would resume on the day with a promise that the players would receive their outstanding dues soon.
Zapata seems not to be the only one leaving the club as both the playing and coaching personnel grow frustrated of the situation. Striker, Tumisang ‘Teenage’ Orebonye is said to have handed in a transfer request at the club in the past week.
The striker has been out with an injury for more than a month. He has scored 12 goals during this season while he finished as the runner up in the last season’s green boot race with 16 goals, just a goal behind Terrence Mandaza.