Local football coaches remain hopeful that their grievances shall be addressed, following their recent fruitful engagement with the Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership.
As according to Botswana Football Coaches Association (BFCA) Interim Committee President, Nelson Olebile they will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which has been pending since the association was formed in 2017. Olebile explained that the MoU will clarify the different roles and responsibilities played by the associations with BFA being the custodian of local football while BFCA is the regulatory body of local coaches. Furthermore Olebile revealed that they have also been able to complete the Code of Conduct for coaches that will ethically govern them on how to behave during their line of duty.
Speaking to The Patriot Sport Olebile said there are however still other pending challenges such as coaches progression, low wages and job security which they are hopeful that the BFA will continue to work with them to see to it that the concerns are also being addressed.
Olebile said as BFCA they are concerned that the BFA is still lacking behind in equipping local coaches with necessary coaching skills as compared to their counterparts in neighbouring countries. He highlighted that there are currently only three CAF A license holders in Botswana with majority of local premier league coaches holding CAF B license. This he said impedes the coaches professional progress and also limits their chances to coach in foreign countries such as neighbouring South Africa. He highlighted that countries such as South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are already steps ahead of Botswana as their premier league coaches are holding CAF A license and some are about to acquire Pro license while Botswana remains behind.
“You can not coach with a CAF B license in South Africa today because they require an A license or an equivalent of that with the maximum requirement being a Pro license which majority of us here do not have,” he highlighted.
BFCA is also concerned about the high rate at which local coaches are willy-nilly fired by clubs without any reasonable excuse. “Another challenge that we have realized and picked is that there is no job security for our coaches because a lot of them are fired from time to time and it never make sense as to why they are sometimes let go by clubs,” Olebile complained.
Furthermore BFCA has also expressed concerned that local coaches are underpaid as compared to their foreign counterparts even when they are both holding equivalent qualifications. Olebile highlighted that a local coach is normally paid a maximum of around P15 000 whereas a foreign coach gets a minimum salary of at least P30 000 for the same job. On top of that he indicated that clubs would usually give a foreign coach all the support and attach other benefits such as accommodation, car and extra allowances to his contract whereas the same offers cannot be extended to local coaches.
“We are not saying foreign coaches should not come and practice in Botswana we are only advocating for our local coaches to also be given the same respect and necessary support that is given to foreign coaches,” Olebile cleared.
For his part, BFA Spokesperson, Tumo Mpatane said the relationship that has been forged between BFA and BFCA will be key in progression of coaching professionals in the country adding that it will also allow for the two associations to progress well together. Mpatane noted that in future they will engage BFCA more in terms of working together and coach education which he also agrees is an important aspect for the latter to develop and grow as professionals.
“Coaches are an important stakeholder in the development of ou local football and we needed to have a relationship with BFCA in which we understand their vision and they also needed to understand the direction to which the BFA is heading towards,” Mpatane said.