Following his comments on Mochudi Centre Chiefs midfielder Lesego Galenamotlhale the Zebras coach Peter Butler has come under heavy fire from local football lovers. Butler had questioned the awarding of the 2014/2015 beMOBILE premier league player of the season award to Galenamotlhale, saying he does not deserve it.
He was quoted in local media as saying the award could have been given to Segolame Boy who showed better class than Galenamotlhale. This did not sit very well with local football lovers who feel the coach is overlooking other players. The supporters took it to social media criticising Butler’s comments labelling them as degrading with a potential of destroying the players.
Botswana Footballers Union (FUB) spokesperson Kgosana Masaseng said what happened is very regrettable. Masaseng pointed out that if at all the coach said this it is disappointing, discouraging and very unprofessional of him.
According to Masaseng, a coach should never attack a player in public as that has a potential of destroying the player’s confidence and ultimately performance. “We want our best players to play in the national team but they play there at the invitation of the coach. It is therefore the responsibility of the coach to speak to players and tell them what to do to play in his team and not to attack anyone,” he said.
Masaseng said it should never be about personal differences where the coach ends up criticising players in public. “What would have the coach said or felt like if the same player or any other person say he is not good enough coach?” asked Masaseng. He pointed that what the coach did amounted to abuse. However, he revealed that they have advised the player not to comment on the matter.
Nonetheless, FUB has made it a point that they will constantly fight to protect the players and their interests. As a result Masaseng pointed out that they are intending to take the matter up with Botswana Football Association (BFA) - being the coach’s employers. “We are trying to address this with Botswana Football Association and we hope the association will deal with the matter with due diligence,” revealed Masaseng.
All this started when Butler tried to defend the omission of Galenamotlhale from his team even though he was voted player of the season. At first Butler explained that the player had come at a wrong time when there are many players who are playing in his position at the national team. The coach pointed out that with the likes of Ofentse Nato and Lebogang Ditsile in the team, Galenamotlhale does not have a chance.
The coach, however, hinted that he would call the player into camp for the on-going CHAN championships which he did not do. With some continuing to question his decision the outspoken Butler appeared to have lost his cool and fired out that the player is just overrated and did not deserve the award he was given.
Taking the fight to social media, infuriated football lovers showed their displeasure with the coach saying what he said was uncalled for. Some even began questioning the performance of the coach at the national team. They feel that since he was given the job he did not do anything significant to improve local football.
With unsatisfactory results Batswana are now visibly starting to lose hope on Butler. Pressure is now mounting on him to start winning important games for the country to redeem his image. He has a tough task of leading the team in the AFCON 2017 competitions where he is expected to at least finish at the quarterfinal stages.