The Lesego Galenamotlhale saga deteriorated midweek when league champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs refused to release its players called for national team duty. Centre Chiefs officials are demanding that their complaint against coach Peter Butler be addressed before they could release the players to play for the national team.
Three of Mochudi Centre Chiefs players have been called for the Zebras camp that start on Sunday in preparation for the 2017 AFCON qualifier against Burkina Faso. The trio are Lempone Tshireletso, Keaketswe Moloi and the player at the centre of the stand-off Galenamotlhale.
The standoff follows Butler’s utterance against Galenamotlhale’s selection as the player of the season at the end of 2014/15 season. The coach who was trying to justify why he did not call on Galenamotlhale to the Zebras, said the player was just overrated and according to him did not deserve the award. This did not sit well with Chiefs officials who have since lodged a complaint with the Botswana Football Association (BFA). However since the issue has not been resolved the team has taken a hard stance to withhold all their players until the coach apologises or BFA resolves the matter. If the standoff continues it will not be the first time that Galenamotlhale snubs the national call up.
Mochudi Centre Chiefs spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed the team’s stand. He said the only thing that would make them reconsider their decision before the matter is resolved will be the coach’s formal apology. The move however has seen by some as harsh not only to the nation but also the players themselves.
Pundits feel that refusing to resolve the players for national duty will impact negatively on the team’s performance. They also argue that this will also deny the players the opportunity to show case their skills in the international arena. Mogomotsi however said this is not done to punish anyone but to set things straight so that things are done professionally going forward. “We have long lodged a complaint with BFA about this matter and we were assured that it will be addressed but to date nothing has been done. We just want the matter to be settled that’s all,” said Mogomotsi.