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Oktay not okay

CRYING FOUL: Hassan Oktay

Fired Rollers coach cries SABATAGE

‘Even if I was offered P100, 000 a week, I would not accept a job in Botswana!’ Oktay’s parting shot

Although a club statement described the split as amicable, Hassan Oktay has accused Township Rollers of subjecting him to ‘a hostile, extremely tense working environment’.

In an explosive, exclusive interview with Voice Sport, the Turkish-born tactician, who joined the 16-time champions on a one-year contract in August, said he realised he’d made a massive mistake almost immediately after he arrived at Popa.

“I wanted to resign before the season started but my agent advised him to be patient,” seethed Oktay, who left the country on Saturday and is currently on holiday in Turkey.

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Crying sabotage, he claimed the technical team constantly plotted against him and would not let him pick his preferred starting XI.

“The environment was not conducive at all. I have worked in many different countries but that was my worst experience in all my 26 years of coaching. I know people might not understand your philosophy but they should give you benefit of the doubt!”

Turning his attention to the playing squad, the outspoken Oktay claimed some players pretended to be injured because they did not want to play for him.

“Some players were faking injuries. As soon as I left, apparently everyone is back at training,” he said.

Pinpointing the 2-1 defeat to Masitaoka in the Orange FA Cup semi-finals earlier this month as the moment his patience snapped, Oktay said, “The goalkeeper coach and the whole technical team wanted us to use the second goalkeeper, Keagile Kgosipula and I wanted to use Kabelo Dambe. We argued until I gave up and we lost.”

He further absolved himself of any blame for the 2-0 league loss to Orapa United last week, insisting, “They picked the squad for me and we lost again. I cannot apologise to the fans for the Orapa game because it has nothing to do with me!

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“Before the Orapa game, I was to meet with the CEO but instead it was the fitness trainer and my assistant coaches who turned up. They said bad things about me in front of the club President [Jagdish Shah].”

A day after the defeat, on Wednesday 8 December, Rollers issued a statement revealing they had parted ways with Oktay, thanking the coach for his time and wishing him well in the future.

Despite his bitter words, Oktay admitted Rollers is a big club with quality players that are more than good enough to dominate local football.

“I wanted what’s best for the club. The clash did not improve the team’s performance so I had to leave,” he maintained simply.

However, in a final parting shot to his former employer’s, Oktay said his ‘nightmare’ stay at Rollers had put him off coaching in Botswana forever.

“My agent received offer from Jwaneng Galaxy and I refused. Even if I was to be offered P100, 000 a week, I will not accept a job offer in Botswana!”

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Meanwhile, when asked about Oktay’s accusations, a highly-placed source at Popa dismissed the comments as rubbish.

“He’s talking s#@&” was the insider’s immediate response.

Warning Oktay he was heading for ruin, the source added, “This is not as simple as it seems. If the whole story comes out it will destroy him – he’ll never work in football again!”

For his part, Rollers PRO, Phempheretlhe Pheto denied Oktay’s claims and accused him of lying.

“If he keeps this up, the club will issue a statement that might put his career at risk. We do not want to go there. He is not telling the truth He has never indicated in his match reports that there is a clash between him and the technical team.”

Instead, Pheto maintained Oktay’s departure was down to disappointing performances on the pitch.

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“We had a meeting with him indicating that we are not pleased with the team’s performance. He asked us to give him time to prove himself but the performance was dropping every game. He did not resign. We parted amicably.”

Moving quickly, on Monday Mapalastina announced they had appointed Romain Folz as their new Head Coach.

The French national got off to a winning start, overseeing a 1-0 victory over Notwane on Wednesday.

His next assignment is a grudge match against their cup conquerors Masitaoko on Saturday.

The fixture is a huge doubt, however, with nine Majathlaga players testing positive for Covid-19 this week.

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