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FIFA fines GU P400K

In a land mark case that was first reported to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber by Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB), the former has issued a stern fine to Gaborone United in a matter involving one of its former players, Appiah Bismarck.

Bismarck had reported the matter to FUB after he received a termination letter dated January 04, 2016 from GU. The release letter, signed by GU secretary general, City Senne informed Bismarck that his contract was prematurely terminated.

He was later to argue that his two year contract, which was initially supposed to end in May 2017, was terminated without just cause or sporting just cause.  After a series of correspondences with GU, FUB later complained in February 2016 that the team had continued to ignore them and in return opting to continue unlawfully terminating players’ contracts against FIFA’s principles of creating contractual stability.

GU did not bother to engage the union further and it was then that the matter was first referred to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber in April 2016.  Within five days of receipt of FUB’s complaint, FIFA responded asking for some additional information among them, the power of attorney, grounds of the claim and other relevant documents

To this end, in its argument to FIFA, FUB prayed for an order compelling GU to compensate the player for the remainder of his contract. Parallel to this process and some time at the end of February 2016, Bismarck had through his legal representatives, International Sports Law Centre wrote to Nicolas Zakhem demanding that the player be paid the 16 months left on his contract, according to FIFA article 21 and 67 paragraph 1 of the FIFA Status committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber conditions for professional players. GU was therefore asked to pay a total of USD39 000 for the remainder of the contract.

When asked why the opted to report the matter to FIFA, FUB secretary general Kgosana Masaseng said, in 2016 when they were handling the matter, the current dispute resolution chamber was not yet established. On the merits of the case, Masaseng said as FUB, they felt that the unlawful termination of players’ contracts was designed to damage the players standing in the eyes of future potential players.

After Bismarck left the country to try his luck in Eastern Europe, FUB agreed to hand over the matter to his lawyers led by Ercan Sevdimbas. Two years later, this matter now seems to be far from over. It turns out that GU has been ignoring a FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber judgement issued on the 29th September 2016.

It therefore came as no surprise that in March 2018, FIFA through the deputy secretary of the disciplinary committee, Alexander Jacobs notified GU that they had not acted in accordance with the decision passed by the dispute resolution chamber judge in 2016. The communique said, this was a violation of article 64 of the FIFA disciplinary code and as such, it will be the subject of an investigation by the FIFA disciplinary committee. The committee has therefore initiated disciplinary proceedings against GU in respect of a violation of article 64 of the Dispute Resolution Chamber.

Furthermore, the letter from FIFA to the attention of the association hints that GU’s case will be submitted to a member of the FIFA disciplinary committee for evaluation in accordance with Article 78 of the FIFA disciplinary committee so that disciplinary measures (fine, deduction of points, and relegation to lower league) may be imposed on the club.

In light of this, FIFA urged GU to immediately Bismarck the outstanding amount due (USD39 500 plus 5% interest per annum) to be calculated in accordance with the decision of the Dispute Resolution Chamber judge dated 29th September 2016.

GU was given until April 3rd 2018 to pay the outstanding amounts. Accordingly, the team had not met the deadline by press time and it now appears that the matter will be submitted to a member of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for consideration and a formal decision is expected within the next week.

When reached for clarity GU’s Secretary General City Senne said they have communicated with FIFA on how they can play the player. According to Senne, the team is waiting FIFA reply. According to an insider at the team, although Bismarck was signed by Dragojlo Stanojlovic, the coach did not believe in the services of the player. The source said the club is in this mess because of the coach who is also in the process of filing a claim against the team for the unfair termination of his contract.     

Meanwhile FUB has indicated that after a landmark agreement with FIFA, players’ welfare issues have been given a priority. “The BFA has also joined other associations by establishing the Dispute Resolution Chamber and we are pleased with this development as most of our players have been subjected to a lot of unfair labour practises,” Masaseng said.

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Sport

Dambe, Tsotso dump Zebras

12th April 2021

Remnant of the historic Africa Cup of Nations squad of 2012, Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele and Botswana’s first-choice goal keeper, Kabelo Dambe, will never embody the future of the Zebras as long as Adel Amrouche is at the helm, WeekendSport has established.

The duo made this confession in the squad secret WhatsApp group seen by this publication, expressing concern and antipathy about playing for the squad heavily polarised by the coach.

It turns out that the coach has players he favours and prefers, many of who appear in the starting line-up as a long lasting promise to be signed under his stable. The aim is to ultimately recruit them to far flung clubs and earn a commission.

Ngele who remains the only player to have scored the Zebras goal (in open play) at the 2012 edition has endured a rocky affair with the coach.

Not much has been established as to why the affair is in tatters but sources claim that it stretched to a point where Amrouche confronted Ngele’s former coaches at Black Leopards to discuss possible options of side-lining him. The idea was to frustrate the player and kill his confidence as the only player Zebras looked up to.

Ngele, under former coach Peter Butler, was named the squad captain but under Amrouche, he has played cameo roles in World Cup and AFCON qualifiers. Ngele has made three appearances and came once as a substitute in all the 10 games Amrouche managed.

Ngele was hoping for his own great leap forward in an effort to end his nightmare and play for the Zebras especially after earning playing time with his new club, Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.

Do this day, Ngele has made more than 35 appearances for the Zebras since earning his debut in 2009. Away from The Zebras stage, Ngele made significant contributions at Platinum Stars, the first team he signed his professional contract with. In 67 games, he scored 19 times.

Amrouche’s insistency and promise to make a loud impact in this year’s qualifiers did not bear fruit. Part of the blame is shoved on Township Rollers stopper, Kabelo Dambe. He is accused to have failed to stand strong for Zebras and shipped in simpler goals that cost the team to book a flight to Cameroon next year.

A goal against Algeria on home soil and a goal by Zimbabwe last month could have never gone through had he positioned himself better, critics claim.

Dambe who has more than 44 caps and played all Zebras games under Amrouche feels hard done and had hoped the coach and the nation would protect him. He feels the ambition of the country to qualify mirrors a tomorrow that could never come because of his mistakes.

Botswana Football Association (BFA) General Manager of National Teams, Monnakgotla Mojaki when pressed for interview failed to provide details about the future of the two stars.

He expressed concern that he was never hands on when the squad played the qualifiers. This according to Mojaki, was the case because the coach had barred him from mingling with the players.

“I am sorry I cannot assist you with anything, I know nothing and remember I have not spoken to anybody since I was asked not to come to camp,” he shared.

Both Dambe and Ngele are not only equally unhappy but are also equal in age; both are 30 years and have played for Platinum Stars at one point in their careers.

However, there is information to the effect that the duo made a promise to return one day, and that is when the coach has parted company with the association.

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Sport

Galaxy star wants out

12th April 2021

Lebogang Ditsile has begun to cast fresh doubts over his future as a Jwaneng Galaxy player. The hard tackling midfielder has handed the club management a transfer request amid rumours linking him with Gaborone United.

This week, the industrious player gave Galaxy an ultimatum -to either improve his contract benefits or let him go- this comes after a decision was taken to offer the whole team pay cuts amid the corona virus pandemic.

Galaxy has arrived at a conclusion of giving each player P3000 until a time football returns to the field.Ditsile, one of the club’ highest paid players is certainly restless and would not want to entertain a second thought over his future.

Galaxy on the other hand is feeling distraught over GU’s constant communication with the player, and are also aggrieved that the Nikholas Zakhem powered team wants to prize away their asset. Ditsile’s contract does not expire until June of 2022.

The situation is not yet explosive but it is believed to have gotten under Ditsile’s skin and it is threatening to turn ugly. Ditsile apparently is the best thing ever to happen to Galaxy and to leave them at this point will surely be a great loss that could take some time for the club to recover.

However, GU is busy making their move for their long-time target and the enterprising midfielder is said to be determined to complete the transfer before the season begins. It is said the player wants to play football without hustles, which Galaxy cannot promise at the present moment, and the allure of GU will certainly prove too much to stay from.

The team led and directed by Zakhem is reported to have promised ‘Tally’ a mouth-watering contract should he voluntarily terminate. It is however noted that GU cannot risk buying the player who is still on a running contract.

It is believed that Ditsile recognises GU as one of the country’s leading clubs, capable of competing for the grandest prizes. In the event of joining GU, Ditsile would have fulfilled his dream of playing for a rich paying club.

He has enjoyed his years at Galaxy, where he is feted by the supporters, but feels that the time is right to move on. It is impossible to dispute the value and service that he has given to the club, with last season being his best.

The fan-favourite, who has had an on and off relationship with the national team, is still held by the terms of his contract while discussions between his agent are continuing behind closed doors.

Those close to developments mention that Ditsile is yet to be shocked by the stubborn position held by the Galaxy; but the club will surely hate losing such a prized possession to their fiercest rivals.

The Galaxy management has a reputation of being tough negotiators but for Ditsile, the offer from GU is one that should be impossible to refuse.On the other hand, GU are mindful of the tactics often displayed by Botswana players.

They have a tendency of bargaining through rival clubs so as to increase salary or force the management to act swiftly.

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Sport

Panic ahead of women champions’ league

12th April 2021

The absence of women national league in the country has caused anxiety and alarm at Botswana Football Association (BFA) secretariat. PIC: Soccer Laduma

This is the case because the inaugural COSAFA women champions’ league is about to kick start and BFA is expected to send the name of the team that will represent the country.

As things stand, the association is caught between a rock and a hard place because they are unable to determine the deserving team. The reality facing the association is because its women nation-wide league has never been played since the first corona virus case was registered in March of 2020.

However, the association has devised a plan and a model to opt for a team that will participate in the tournament to be held between November and December of this year. The play offs are expected to commence in August.

BFA has therefore called for an expression of interest from clubs to select the most deserving team.The expression of interest, according to BFA, should cover the club’s financial viability and ability to honour its games (both home and away) without fail. According to findings, the club will need a minimum of P100 00 to play a telling role.

It is therefore highly unlikely that BFA will find a women’s team enjoying such financial freedom. In any case, the association will be forced to offer financial assistance.Township Rollers, Mexican girls and Double Action are the few teams that can possibly be selected, but a huge question mark hangs over their financial disposition.

One other thing needed through the expression of interest is the current books of accounts which will definitely show that the club has been operating. BFA is of the view that this is important because it will help in showing the financial progression of the team.

“We are very pleased with how these events were organized under very difficult circumstances,” COSAFA General Secretary, Sue Destombes said in a statement.

“We take what we learnt in Nelson Mandela Bay into our planning for 2021. We have a full calendar of tournaments at this stage. We are hopeful we will be able to stage them all, even in these most challenging times.

The highlight must be the introduction of the regional Women’s Champions League, which will be a zonal qualifier for the new CAF Women’s Champions League which is coming later this year,” she further shared.

 

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