Belgian frontrunner for Zebras job


Belgian, Adel Amrouche has emerged as the favourite to take over as the next Zebras coach. One of the frontrunners, Serbian, Jelusic Veselin and four others opted out of the race.

The former Libya coach, Amrouche will reportedly arrive in the country on Tuesday to watch the Zebras play Zambia in the first leg of the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in Francistown.The Zebras job fell vacant in February following the dismissal of David Bright. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) received more than 40 applications from across the globe, before the candidates were trimmed to six. But Amrouche has moved to the front of the queue, with a deal imminent.

BFA president, Maclean Letshwiti said he was not aware of Amrouche’s arrival for the Zebras match.

“I have not met the technical committee (in charge of recruiting the coach), as I have been away in Johannesburg. Nobody has been hired, and nobody has informed me about any visit. It is just speculation,” Letshwiti said. Teenage Mpote has been holding the fort on a caretaker basis and did not apply for the senior role.

However, the BFA has indicated that he will be retained as an assistant to the new man.

Mpote takes charge of the Zebras against Zambia, which could be his last assignment as caretaker coach.

Thereafter, the BFA is expected to officially unveil, according to sources, Amrouche as the new coach. The Belgian is said to favour working with his own staff, but is open to the idea of roping in a local assistant. But negotiations are not done and dusted, as Amrouche has reportedly attracted substantial interest from South Africa’s Absa Premiership.

The BFA cannot match what some of the top Absa Premiership sides offer, with the local association reportedly able to pay only up to P120,000 per month.

During the last search, the BFA wanted then Uganda coach, Milutin Sredojević, who was also on Orlando Pirates’ radar.

Pirates reportedly offered Sredojević R500,000 per month, while the BFA’s budget was under P100,000. The BFA later settled for Peter Butler.

Amrouche is well travelled and the BFA is said to have been attracted by his profile, and his ability to take players to European leagues.

Amrouche, is a Belgian of Algerian descent and is currently the general coordinator of the Union Saint Gilloise, a football training centre in Brussels.

The 51-year-old has had coaching jobs with the Libya, Kenya and Burundi national teams over the last 12 years. He has a UEFA Pro Licence, a CAF A Licence and a Masters in Ergonomic in Physical Activity from Val University in France.

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