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Adel-Icate balance

Portia Mlilo
ZEBRAS COACH: Adel Amrouche

*Zebras coach accuses faceless enemies of sabotage

Botswana National Team Coach, Adel Amrouche is convinced there is a plot afoot from certain quarters determined to derail his efforts to take local football forward.

Crying sabotage from his base in Regent Hotel, where he is currently holed up with the Zebras squad ahead of their all-important AFCON qualifiers with Zimbabwe and Algeria next month, Amrouche told Voice Sport he suspects ‘bitter people’ are out to get him fired.

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The 52-year-old tactician dismissed rumours his players are unhappy with his methods, describing the spirit in camp as ‘good’.

It was alleged Gaborone United (GU) defender, Tshepho Maikano quit camp in protest at Amrouche’s bullying.

However, the 32-year-old defender has since rubbished these reports, confirming he dropped out due to ‘personal problems’ and that his decision had nothing to do with Amrouche.

Adding to the coach’s sense of paranoia, anti-doping agents from the BNOC turned up at the hotel on Wednesday morning with a list of seven players they had been instructed to test.

The officers were reportedly acting on a tip-off, with Amrouche adamant they were sent by ‘someone’ desperate to destabilize his preparations.

In an exclusive interview with Voice Sport shortly after the drug tests were conducted, the determined coach said his enemies would not diminish his focus.

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“I am trying to do what is best for this country and this negativity will make me strong. I am not going to dwell much on that but I dropped the physical trainer after I found him smoking hubbly with players when we were playing against Malawi. I did not know the substances contained in that thing and I do not want my players to dope and at the end I will be blamed. I have to protect my players,” said the animated coach.

Amrouche added that his axing of other senior officials had earnt him powerful foes within the footballing fraternity.

“I found some of the technical members and the team doctor in possession of muti. I dropped them because I do not condone that as it can cloud the game. I have evidence for all these things,” stressed the Algerian-born coach.

The experienced tactician, whose 26 years as a coach has seen him work in Belgium, Kenya and Libya amongst others, told Voice Sport he is working hard with his international connections to secure local players’ contracts abroad.

He revealed he assisted Thatayaone Ditlhokwe to find job at SuperSport, as well as the trio of Kabelo Seakanyeng, Tumisang Orebonye and Simisani Mathumo who are currently playing in Morocco.

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“International experience is needed for the Zebras to progress,” said Amrouche, adding he was determined to ensure the Zebras indeed progress.

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