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Butler backs ‘Mara’


“People seem really angry with Letswithi!” PJB

Former Zebras Head Coach, Peter James Butler is in little doubt as to who should be at the helm of Botswana football.

The current Liberia coach was appointed to lead Botswana in February 2014 by the then Botswana Football Association (BFA) President, Tebogo ‘Mara’ Sebego.

Following a largely successful three-and-a-half years, during which time he invested heavily in youth development, the Briton’s tenure came to an abrupt end in 2017 under the leadership of the current BFA President, Maclean Letshwiti.

It is hardly surprising then, that PJB believes Sebego deserves a second stint as the driver of the country’s football ambitions.

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Butler was named Liberia senior football coach on a one-year contract last August. His Lone Stars played to a goalless draw against the Zebras in September last year, in the country’s 53rd Independence celebrations.

At the helm of the Zebras, the 52-year-old former West Ham midfielder became the first coach to reach the COSAFA finals, losing controversially to Zambia.

Amongst his many feats, Butler turned the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium into a fortress, claiming the scalps of seasoned African campaigners such as Burkina Faso and Mali in front of over 20, 000 screaming fans.

It was, however, his outspoken off-field antics that led him on a collision course with the BFA hierarchy.

His statement that the most talented footballers were found in the northern side of the country was not well received by the football leadership and a section of football supporters.

It was, however, his sworn vow that the Zebras would never play at the National Stadium under his watch that reportedly convinced Letshwiti to pull the plug on his time as Botswana coach.

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What followed was a love/hate relationship on social media, particularly Twitter, where Butler would occasionally fire loaded shots in the general direction of Lekedi Football Centre.

Now the Briton reckons Letshwiti is past his sell by date.

“Sebego is the man to take Botswana football forward. The trust and love has disappeared from the general public sadly, and I fully understand why the game in Botswana has degenerated into a farcical situation,” he told Voice Sport.

Not only does Butler believe the Notwane Football Club Chairman deserves to lead BFA, he’s convinced he’ll win the elections at the coming elective BFA Ordinary General Assembly.

“It’s difficult to get any news from here, but I’m listening with intrigue. People say there is only one winner and that’s Sebego. People seem really angry with Letswithi,” he concluded from his West African base.

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