The 2006/2007 Mascom Premier League is expected to start with a spectacle, as the Botswana Football Association (BFA), is expected to come down hard on defiant Township Rollers.
The Gaborone glamour side last week contravened one of the BFA’ s bold stipulations, that no team affiliated to it is to take the BFA to the high court. And Township Rollers did just that.
Last time around, Notwane Football Club was brought to book for defying the BFA. Notwane were pushed into the soccer wilderness for a full season and it remains to be seen what action will be taken against “Popa”.
What makes this debacle more spectacular is that the BFA is not free from indictment as they initiated the whole mess by committing an error of judgment, barring BDF XI’s Bernard Simakwezi from playing in the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Cup without verifying if he was a defaulter or not.
Logically, as a result of that, the BFA are bound to go a conciliatory way with Rollers because, evidently, Rollers were always going to triumph against the mother body at the Court.
Many have always accused BFA of handling Rollers with kid gloves. This may cause the Phillip Makgalemele-led association to go hard on Rollers, lest they are accused of being partial towards Rollers. In particular, the likes of Notwane may make a lot of noise. They might just be waiting to see how the whole episode unfolds.
But why did Rollers not honour the replay fixture? Well, those in the know, claim that a well-respected member of the BFA National Executive committee (NEC), who happens to be a Rollers man inside out, misled Rollers into boycotting the replay.
Sunday Standard Sport can reveal that the man behind all this is said to be close to resigning from the NEC because of the pressure that goes with this case, a clear case of conflict of interest.
The poor guy probably thought he was helping his team because he had privileged information about the BFA logistics. Unfortunately, his move provoked a messy situation.
Rollers must have learnt that blood is not always thicker than water.
Furthermore, skeptics have always come out against people in positions of authority in national organizations of sporting codes who lack the interest of the nation at heart.
Said one journalist; “People are there to serve their teams. I applaud the former BFA President, David Fani, because when he left Gaborone United to join the BFA, he knew that his new position entails serving the nation without favour. He was even instrumental in bringing GU to book when they had a disciplinary case with the BFA.”
Sources claim that Rollers were ready to take to the field against BDF XI before this pseudo-messiah ill advised them.
We hope this issue is resolved amicably, but only if one party could swallow their pride and not apportion blame. On the other hand, we may just be waiting in anticipation of a fierce battle. Watch this space!