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Dark days for Major Bright

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Dark days for Major Bright
END OF THE LINE?: Bright

Zebra’s coach could be fired on Friday

18 turbulent months after he took over, it appears Major David Bright’s time as coach of the Zebras is nearly at an end.

Although his contract with the national team runs until June 2020, Voice Sport can exclusively reveal that Bright could receive his marching orders today (8 February).

Bright’s future will be decided by the National Executive Committee (NEC), who have summoned the under-fire coach to attend a hearing on Friday.

According to the summons, which Bright received at the start of the month, he will be asked to show cause why his contract should not be terminated.

This comes after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) had, on the 3rd of December last year, instructed the ex-army man to compile a detailed technical report on the Zebras dismal AFCON qualifying campaign.

The request was largely motivated by Botswana’s poor showing in their five qualifying games to date.

The goal-shy Zebras have scored just once in 450 minutes of football, picking up a solitary point in the process.

With just a home game against Angola remaining, regardless of the result, the Zebras will finish bottom of their group – a group that also contains Burkina Faso and Mauritania and which many pundits tipped Botswana to qualify from.

In the report, Bright was to outline the campaign’s challenges as well as his recommendations for the future.

However, according to the letter Bright received from the NEC last Friday (1 February), his report failed to articulate a number of technical aspects – a failing the letter warns is a breach of his employment contract.

Another gripe mentioned in the letter is that Bright did not indicate the criteria he uses to select players.

The letter further states that when the BFA hired Bright, he was given the mandate of improving the Zebras’ FIFA ranking by 15 places. However, the national side are currently languishing in 145th – seven spots lower than when the former Mogoditshane Fighters man took over in July 2017.

Bright is said to have been asked to state the reasons why his contract should not be terminated in writing before the end of business on Friday. A formal hearing will follow to give the coach an opportunity to tell the board why they should keep him.

There are allegations that BFA are in talks with a Russian coach and this is just formal procedure to get rid of Bright and pave the way for the new man.

Indeed, it seems a shake-up within the Zebras technical team is imminent, with Pio Paul reportedly being lined-up to replace current Assistant Coach, Sthandwa Mogwadi.

Paul currently has a case before court in which he is accusing the BFA of unfair dismissal.

According to a highly-place source within the association, Paul will be given the job to avoid further costs.

Meanwhile, although he admitted seeing rumours on social media reporting Bright’s sacking, BFA CEO Mfolo Mfolo told Voice Sport that Bright’s summons was standard practice at the NEC.

“We are reviewing the performance of those in the executive positions,” insisted Mfolo, adding this is a confidential matter between the employer and employee so he cannot go into details of what transpired.

When reached for a comment Bright confirmed receiving the letter.

He said he is still working on his response and did not want to be drawn into further discussion saying it might work against him on Friday.