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STAYING PUT: Amrouche

Amrouche rubbishes Kaizer Chiefs links

Botswana national team coach, Adel Amrouche has rubbished reports circulating in South Africa media that he is poised to dump the Zebras for Kaizer Chiefs.

In an exclusive interview with Voice Sport on Wednesday, the 52-year-old Belgian furiously denied claims he was in talks with the Soweto giants about a possible taking over.

With some South African sources even suggesting he had agreed terms, Amrouche was quick to put the record straight.

“I am a man of principle! I respect my job and I do not have a bad reputation of leaving the employer in the middle of my contract,” slammed the highly-rated tactician.

Although he admitted Chiefs had contacted him in regards to their vacant manager’s position, Amrouche insisted he told them he was not interested.

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“I have only been working here for months and it is too early for me to think of my next move. Untrue reports of me being in talks with Chiefs implies that I am interested in their offer. The truth is they approached me and I turned their offer down because I still have a job.”

The coaching role became available last week after the club sacked Ernst Middendorp following a disastrous end to the season. Having led the Premier Soccer League for most of the season, Chiefs relinquished top spot on the very last day, drawing 1-1 with Baroka FC to gift Mamelodi Sundowns the title.

However, despite his indignation, Amrouche did not rule out joining Amakhosi in the future.

“I will be open for talks after my contract with BFA comes to an end,” he said simply.

Indeed, Amrouche revealed Chiefs approached him last August but he turned them down as he had already agreed terms with the Botswana Football Association (BFA).

The well-travelled coach has endured a difficult start with the national team since taking over last September.

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In his tenure to date, Amrouche has overseen three draws and two losses, with the Zebras failing to score in all five outings. 450 goalless minutes of football includes being dumped out of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers by minnows Malawi, losing 1-0 over two legs in the very first round.

With two years still left on his contract, Amrouche is confident he can turn the country’s fortunes around, telling Voice Sport he has ‘unfinished business’.

His first assignment is a tough November doubleheader with neighbours Zambia in a Group H AFCON qualifier.

Currently in Belgium visiting family, it is a challenge the journeyman coach will be relishing after six months of inactivity.

Meanwhile, when reached for a comment BFA Chief Executive Officer, Mfolo Mfolo said he was shocked to see media online platforms in SA linking Amrouche with Chiefs.

He insisted the Belgian has not shown any sign of wanting to leave his role as Zebras coach.

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Mfolo added he never contacted Amrouche after reading the stories as he felt the coach needs some space and break.

“He has been away from home for about seven months. He experienced the lockdown all alone in isolation so he has been through a lot. He asked for three weeks to visit his family and we are expecting him to be back next week to prepare for the AFCON qualifiers,” said Mfolo.

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