The Zebras regrouped this week as they prepare for the COSAFA Cup set next month.
The team assembles under rather difficult conditions with the majority of the players having not touched the ball in over a year while there is growing speculation over the team’s coach, Adel Amrouche future. The Belgian’s two-year contract at Lekidi Football Centre is coming to end in August.
Amrouche is linked with Orlando Pirates and recently with the vacant Kaizer Chiefs job. He had earlier on been linked with the Bafana Bafana post, which has been filled by former AFCON winner, Hugo Broos. The 53-year-old is also said to be eyed for national jobs both in Africa and Asia. Responding to the Mmegi Sport, the Botswana Football Association (BFA), public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane assured Amrouche would lead the team to the regional tournament.
He also said the BFA and the coach have turned a deaf ear on the reports and Amrouche will be available for the duration of his contract. Mpatane further said the BFA would act swiftly to find a replacement in the event Amrouche leaves. “We are not aware that the coach has indicated that he will be leaving and should a vacancy occur, appropriate measures will be employed,” Mpatane said.
On Monday, Amrouche welcomed the first group of the Zebras squad that is mainly made of local-based players. The international player contingent, which includes Zebras’ skipper, Thatayaone Ditlhokwe, Mogakolodi Ngele, Mpho Kgaswane, Tumisang Orebonye and Kabelo Seakanyeng, will join at a later stage after the conclusion of their respective football seasons. The squad, this week underwent the first COVID-19 tests and the preliminary physical tests. The BFA is expected to cough up to $20,000 (approximately P212,500) as a participation fee for the regional tournament. The Zebras will be competing in the COSAFA Cup from July 2 to 14 in Durban, South Africa, looking for their first ever title after near misses in 2016 and 2019, where they reached the final.