BFA hands Sankoyo a lifeline
The dust has finally settled on the gruesome matter that saw Maun based outfit, Sankoyo Bush Bucks losing 29 points after being found guilty of fielding a defaulter, Morris Ruzivo, for the better part of the season.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of Botswana Football Association led, by President Tebogo Sebego, sat on Friday morning, putting joy into the hearts of the ‘Ngurungu’ faithful, when the NEC overturned the decision of the board of governors to effectively relegate Ngurungu to the first division.
The committee stood by the national appeals board’s decision that the Maun outfit should rather lose only three points and two goals, a move that has benefitted the relegation threatened Satmos FC. The Selibe Phikwe side had lodged a protest to the effect that Sankoyo’s Morris Ruzivo was a defaulter.
“In our consideration of the matter, we realised that our appeals board did find that Sankoyo Bush Bucks used a defaulter, and that decision still stands. Satmos, as the only team to have lodged a protest, will be given three points and two goals,” said BFA President Tebogo Sebego.
The executive committee further clarified that they have set aside all the resolutions of the appeals board, with the belief that application of natural justice was lacking. “It therefore means docking of the points is reversed,” Sebego explained.
This decision, which the Maun side is surely dancing to, has resulted in one last match between Notwane and Satmos that will send the loser to the first division. The two teams are expected to play on Wednesday next week. The venue is to be indentified during the cause of the week.
Satmos has accumulated one more point than Notwane, and in terms of the rules, a team cannot benefit on soft points. Currently, Satmos has 32 points while Notwane has 31.
Sebego further explained that the restoration of the club into the elite league does not mean that the case will be rested immediately. They concur that there was misconduct on the part of Sankoyo and the matter will be taken again to the disciplinary committee.
As a way of leaving no stone unturned, NEC will immediately set an enquiry to investigate on what really happened regarding the registration of the player. The enquiry will be led by Eatametse Olopeng, a chairman of first division north who also sits in the NEC.
Fingers were pointing at the premier league board’s draconian decision to dock 29 points from Ngurungu while it was believed that personal interests clouded some members’ judgement. Extension Gunners chairman, Kitso Dlamini, is quoted as saying: “I am happy justice has been done,” making Gunners the first team to disown the board’s decision.
They set the record straight that they were not party to the agreement of docking points from the premier league rookies. Soon, other clubs followed suit until NEC exercised its powers. However, Sankoyo Bucks Chairman Willian Dikgosana seemed too excited to comment and could only say: “We are still waiting for official information from NEC.”
In terms of these Play Rules and Regulations, a defaulter is a player:
who plays while under suspension;
who is not registered to play for the club he has actually played for;
who is improperly cleared by the club which uses him;
who is registered after any of the stipulated quotas have been exhausted;
who plays for a club without the relevant international registration transfer certificate and/or relevant documents;
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It’s do or die for Zebras
The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.
The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.
The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).
Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.
Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.
Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.
Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.
Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.
According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.
“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”
OBED ITANI CHILUME STADIUM CERTIFIED
This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.
According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.
Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society
Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.
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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon
Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.
He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.
The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.