Botswana to develop code of conduct amid booze claims by players

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Mpho Tebele

Gaborone - Botswana Football Association (BFA) has revealed that it is working on a draft code of conduct for national team players.

This follows reports that at least four players were caught red handed drinking alcohol by the newly appointed senior national soccer team head coach, Adel Amrouche, while on national duty.

Reports say that the players were allegedly caught drinking during the recent game against Malawi, where Botswana lost 1-0, thereby ending its dreams of participating in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

According to the BFA public relations officer, Tumo Mpatane, the association is currently working in collaboration with the Football Union of Botswana (FUB) to draft the code of conduct.

He said recently the association and FUB signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to solidify each party’s mandate of making local football professional and improving players’ welfare.

“Yes it is true that we are currently working on a code of conduct for national team players. Please note that this was triggered by the recent incident in which players were allegedly caught drinking alcohol. It is something that has been in the pipeline,” said Mpatane.

Mpatane also confirmed the players whose identity could not be disclosed were facing disciplinary action.

FUB president Onalethata Tshekiso said their intention is to develop professional football by reviewing and, where necessary and appropriate, reforming regulatory mechanisms to safeguard the integrity of the sport and its core participants.

Meanwhile, Amrouche has brushed off criticism from some observers that he was being harsh on the players when he suspended them. The critics include among others, former Zebra coach Peter Butler.

He was quoted as saying: “You cannot change the social culture of Botswana. This is where I think the new coach is going to have problems. You have to work with and around the drinking culture while you are educating the younger ones. It is a generational thing. It will take years of education.”

But Amrouche did not take kindly to Butler’s advice and statement describing it as “stupid”.

“I have suspended some players and they will have to prove to me that they have changed their mindset. They can drink elsewhere but not under the Zebras badge. I don’t drink and my players won’t drink. Do we have players playing in top leagues? No, it’s because of this stupid thinking, we have quality players here that can compete. I came for the challenge. It’s stupidity to say alcohol is good for players,” he said. 

 

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