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BPL investigates ticket scandal

BPL

A game between log leaders Gaborone United and Township Rollers has come and gone. However, its trickledown effect has left a black mark on the image of Botswana football.

There is a growing concern that, despite thousands of spectators attending the game, a lot of under hand tactics were done to have the game played before the eyes of many.

Top of the list, observers say, there were plenty of tickets that were printed illegally. This is what the BPL has focused on and has already instituted a commission of inquiry in pursuit of stern answers.

Information gathered by this publication state that about 6 000 tickets are unaccounted for. This is believed to be the primary reason there was almost stampede at the Gaborone Derby.

The game was played at Royal Aria Stadium whose carrying capacity does not exceed 10 000. But the stadium was full to the brim and some spectators were seen watching from the top of the roof.

The issue of match day tickets has been transferred from BPL offices to the administration of clubs. Therefore, the premier league does not have authority to regulate the number of tickets printed per match.

A day after the game, the league wrote a press release condemning all supporters who forced entry into the stadium.

However, some quarters are blaming the organisers of the game to have underestimated the magnitude and the stature of the match itself.

The derby, after a long time, featured two teams that want to claim all honours available this season. Interestingly, the two teams are neck to neck in the title challenge and it is GU who are at the apex of the log standings. The Reds remains top of the summit even after Rollers under the stewardship of Roman Folz delivered their second defeat of the season on the day.

The inquiry is expected to drag for a couple of weeks before findings become public knowledge. It is not known what kind of action will be taken against those who will be found guilty.

Rollers were the hosts and had the privilege and the rights to provide adequate security.

That a lot of people were to attend the game was beyond the shadow of doubt following prior confirmation that the game was not to be aired on television.

Quite a number of officials-ranging from security to BPL offices, are expected to be interviewed and interrogated as the inquiry is under way.

This is not for the first time BPL institutes an inquiry following nasty incidents concerning their games. A commission was once set 10 years ago after a game between Extension Gunners and Township Rollers played at Molepolole Sports Complex. A stampede was witnessed but results of the enquiry were never made public.

Efforts to reach BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Solomon Ramochotlhwane were fruitless as his phone rang unanswered. His personal assistant returned messages that the CEO is engaged in lengthy meetings discussing equally pressing issues of the league.

However, with the eye of a mere human being, the game was well attended and  stand on itself as the best attended game of the season. It was a game that could still convince a number of would be sponsors to sign deals almost immediately.

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