The pain of falling out of the Mascom Top 8 tournament continues to torment league leaders Township Rollers. The office of the chief prosecutor has slapped Rollers with three charges following an eruption of pandemonium when Palestine was knocked down by cross-town rivals Gaborone United (GU) in the second semi-final match of top eight competition.
Rollers’ conduct during and after the said game was deemed unprofessional and it is this way-ward behaviour that has earned them charges than credit in a cup tournament they were supposed to defend. The prosecutor in liaise with the premier league, after a short probe, charged the club with three counts of misconduct and will soon be hauled before a relevant body to answer.
Rollers is seen to have contravened play rules and regulations, remonstrating that they could not be allowed to take penalties after scoring an away goal during an extra time. The game ended 2-0 in favour of GU before proceeding to extra time. Both clubs were to score a goal each during 30 minutes period and Rollers thought they were proceeding through an away goal rule. The players and the management argued with refereeing staff and nearly stayed away from participating in penalty shoot-out.
The prosecutor is now arguing that Rollers’ conduct brought the game of football into disrepute contrary to article 25.6 of BFA play rules and regulations. The first statement of offence from the prosecutor is that: “Township Rollers through its registered players refused to promptly participate and play the game when directed by the referee at the end of extra time,” the statement continued, “they quarrelled and argued with referring staff. This unprofessional and distasteful conduct has had the effect of bringing the game of football into disrepute.”
The second count of offence is that Rollers’ conduct amounts to assault and threats, contrary to Article 25.5, read with Article 14.1 of the BFA play rules and regulations. The prosecutor contends that Rollers through its supporters assaulted the persons of the referees by throwing objects at them and precluding their entry and access to the stadium changing rooms immediately after the game.
The prosecutor argues that the unlawful and unprofessional conduct is contrary to the spirit of the game, and is in breach of the clear terms of ARTICLE 25.5 of the play rules and regulations. In the third charge, Rollers is accused of failing to timeously obey instructions, orders and decisions of the Referee. It is claimed that Rollers thorough its manager Motshegetsi Mafa refused to timeously obey the instructions of the referees when directing a penalty shoot-out.
The statement of offence reads in part that, the accused, after inordinate delays, yielded to the said instructions and orders upon the intervention of its other officials Messrs. Pheto and Magagane. Rollers is given three days, including weekends, to have replied to the charges.
When reached for clarity Rollers media liaison Phemepheretlhe Pheto acknowledges to have received the charges from the prosecutor and are already working to reply. “Yes we received the charges on Wednesday and we are preparing to reply,” he said. Pheto said the deadline is next week Monday and are ascertain that they will meet it.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.