The Zebras exit from the CHAN Championships over the weekend has aggravated the disgruntlement among supporters, which has become the order of the day. Zebras played to a disappointing 1-all draw against Lesotho over the weekend in the second round of the CHAN qualifiers that saw them crashing out of the competition.
The two sides played to a goalless draw in Lesotho a fortnight ago. In the second round, Lesotho which was determined to win got a goal late in the second half to make progression for the Zebras even difficult than ever. Even Mpho Kgaswane’s last minute goal to level the matter was not enough as the locals needed to score twice to proceed. Lesotho’s away goal gave them a ticket to the next round shuttering the hopes of Batswana to see their team going any further with the competition. Before the match Zebras assistant coach Oris Radipotsane had said they had solved their scoring problems. However, on the day the Zebras struggled to find the back of the net squandering all their opportunities.
Despite this coach Peter Butler said they did not play badly, blaming a defensive error that cost them a goal. “We have been playing very well and football is about margins. If you do not take chances you do not win,” he said. He however took responsibility for the loss.
The Zebras’ loss has only fueled calls from supporters for the sacking of the coach. They feel that Butler is not performing satisfactorily given the continued poor results the teams display. Football supporters argue that Lesotho is a team that the Zebras are not supposed to lose against. The Zebras have been on the decline in the FIFA rankings in recent months and this has enraged the supporters who are continuously calling for Butler to be fired. In all this Botswana Football Association (BFA)executives have been quite on the matter refusing to be drawn to discuss the coach’s fate. A few weeks ago BFA Technical director Benny Kgomela when asked about the performance of the coach explained that is was too early to start talking about the performance.
Kgomela pointed that it is a matter to be addressed at a later stage as assessment on the coach’s performance is still on-going. “We are still analysing the reports that we have. Until we have finished this we will not discuss the matter. After all this has been done we will share the decision with the public,” said Kgomela.
Butler and his charges are now left with only the AFCON 2017 qualifiers to redeem their image by qualifying to go to Gabon. When he was given the Zebras hot seat Butler was given clear instructions to take the team to AFCON and at least reach the quarterfinals. The team has a lot to do as they have already started the campaign by losing their first game to Uganda in the first round of the qualifiers.