Following the decision by the Acting Premier League chairperson, Rapula Okaile, who is also Gaborone United chairman to dock Township Rollers football club of 10 points for the current 2015/2016 season, the club has decided to take the matter to the highest football governing body.
Township Rollers was docked points following a successful appeal by Gilport Lions over the use of Zebras midfielder, Ofentse Nato who they argued is a defaulter because he was registered outside the stipulated transfer window. The Disciplinary Committee had ruled that Rollers be docked three points and 2 goals for using Nato. However Okaile and his supporters decided to dock more points from Township Rollers and donate them to clubs that had played Rollers and Nato was featured.
Through the club Secretary General Khumoyame Masonya, Township Rollers FC Executive Committee relayed a statement this week indicting that they have decided and resolved to invoke Regulation 10.3 of the BFA Play Rules and Regulations, as read with the Statutory Right of aggrieved Parties and in the spirit of Fair Play as espoused by FIFA.
“For avoidance of doubt, yesterday [3rd May, 2016], we filed an application before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) being the final competent authority to rule on a matter of this nature,” read the statement.
Based on their appeal to FIFA’s CAS, “and in the spirit of fairness”, Township Rollers requested the Botswana Football Association (BFA) and its relevant Structures to suspend the activities and programme of the Botswana Premier League henceforth, pending the determination of this matter by CAS. “It follows therefore, that the programme for the 2015/2016 Season cannot be concluded until this Appeal has been finalized.”
Rollers was of the view that the final week (Week 30) cannot proceed, nor can the beMOBILE Premiership trophy be handed over, nor can the 2015/2016 Season be closed, pending the determination by CAS on this matter. “The BFA's attention has been drawn to paragraph 28 of our Statement of Facts filed before CAS on the above prayer. Principles of law dictate that failure to comply will constitute Contempt of Court in a matter before CAS.”
Further Rollers drew the attention of the BFA to the Preamble of the Constitution of the Botswana Football Association as read with the Statutes of FIFA, which clearly outlines our Rights as affiliates of the beautiful game, in affording us the opportunity to argue our matter and explore all available avenues of recourse, in an attempt to vindicate our actions.
ABORTED DISCIPLINARY HEARING(S)
Masonya further wrote in the statement that Township Rollers is aggrieved by a number of factors relating to the disciplinary hearing. He said they have requested the BFA to furnish them with critical documents which formed the basis of the decision of the BPL DC not to hear the Protests filed by respective Clubs (Miscellaneous FC, Mochudi Centre Chiefs SC, Police XI FC and Township Rollers).
The Rollers Secretary General said they requested for a signed copy of the Minutes of the Board of Governors of the BPL that took the decision to dock Township Rollers 10 points; The signed Resolution (by all present) of the above decision; and an explanation of the usurpation of the powers of the BPL DC by the BPL BOG (over a matter which in essence was sub judice) in the determination of matters of discipline including but not limited to Protests.
“It follows, in Law therefore, that the BPL DC ought to have been discharged before the BPL BOG took the decisions they are purported to have taken. We shall and allow the CAS process to prevail, save as we may be compelled by the circumstances, have no further opinion on the matter until it's final conclusion,” said Masonya.
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.