Newly appointed Zebras coach Peter Butler has come under criticism from northern coaches over his first national team selection.
The squad selected to play in a friendly against South Sudan next Wednesday does not include any player from the north of the country.
The coaches concern was aired during a meeting addressed by BotswanaFootball Association Vice President Technical Ernest Nthobelang and Phillimon Makhwengwe recently in Francistown.
Former Zebras and Tafic defender LovemoreMokgwetsi said it was high time a North v South fixture was revived to help select a more representative national team.
“Now the national team is dominated by Gaborone based players and we even lose experiencedand skillful players from our region as they are looking for exposure,” he said.
In his response Butler said he has picked players based on merit. He said he considered his selection to be fair since he was not influenced by anyone.
Concerning the absence of any player in the north he admitted: “I have been here for three weeks and I did not have enough time towatch all northern teams play.
I have only travelled to Phikwe to watch Nico when it was playing against BDF X1 and I have also watched Miscellaneous.
I have selected players looking at their current performance, not history.
I wanted to have a youthful squad and that is why there are new faces.”
He reassured his critics that it was only a matter of time before more youngsters from the north would be in the national squad.
He added that he was still going to go around the country looking for talent.
He said there was a 21-year-old player at Tafic that he wanted to call up for selection but he could not reveal his name.
Butler said the North v South selection game was an idea that he had also thought about.
‘That is a good point raised by northern coaches and I really appreciate the suggestion.
It will be a wonderful opportunity and will make my job easier.
Of course the national team should include players from different teams in all corners of this country,” he said.