Under normal circumstances, a point this coming Saturday against FC Satmos would guarantee that beMobile league log leaders, Mochudi Centre Chiefs are crowned champions. Unfortunately, things will not be so easy or straight forward for the Kgatleng side. Standing between Chiefs and their crown is not just a single point from their three remaining fixtures, but also some legal tussles that need to be resolved. First up for ‘Magosi’ is a battle against FC Satmos this coming Saturday night at the National Stadium.
This fixture will be especially rigorous because it has implications on both ends of the table. Chiefs will be fighting for league honours while FC Satmos will launch a battle for survival in the premier league. A win or draw for Chiefs will ensure they amass enough points to guarantee league honors, at the same time sending FC Satmos deep into the relegation quagmire. On the other hand, a loss for Chiefs against the relegation candidates will put them under additional pressure of navigating two unpredictable fixtures against Mascom Top 8 champions Gaborone United (GU) and Police XI, who are looking to consolidate their Top 8 credentials.
However, things will not be so easy for Chiefs. Even if they get the all important point on Saturday to avoid the banana skin encounters against GU and Police XI, Magosi will still have to await the outcome of an appeal launched by first division bound Letlapeng FC. The relegation bound Letlapeng have appealed against Chiefs’ use of influential captain Pontsho Moloi, who they claim was a defaulter when the two sides met earlier this year.
Though the case was dismissed twice, first by Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee and then by Botswana Football Association (BFA) Disciplinary Committee this past Thursday, Letlapeng have made it known that they intend to take the matter up with the National Appeals Board (NAB). On Monday, Letlapeng Chairman Sidney Magagane confirmed that they are waiting for the written judgment from the BFA DC to launch their appeal with the NAB, a development that many fear will disrupt the end of the 2014/15 league season. Meanwhile, BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi said the issue of Chiefs not being crowned champions on Saturday, should they get the needed point, is not very urgent at the moment.
“The normal procedure is that they will be crowned after completing all their remaining fixtures. That’s the trend in all leagues, as you have seen with the current one in South Africa where Kaizer Chiefs have all but won the league,” the BPL CEO explained.
He also expressed optimism that the current impasse will not disrupt conclusion of the league. Despite the fact that the matter is out of the BPL’s hands and now with the BFA.
“Our plan is that by next week, all issues regarding the current BPL season will be resolved. We will therefore appeal to the NAB for this issue to be heard urgently so there are no disruptions to the league conclusion. We have an obligation to protect the league and its sponsor’s image and we will do everything in our power to do so,” Mamelodi concluded.