The bad blood that has been frothing between Mochudi Center Chiefs and Township Rollers is expected to boil over on Saturday. There will be no love lost, but one will have to lose between defending league champions Center Chefs and pretenders to the throne Rollers.
The two teams have been involved in a marathon slugfest off the field and are expected to stoke their rivalries in a decisive bePremiership league match.
Chiefs, who are just four points behind Rollers in the title race, will be looking to bridge the gap, while ‘Popa’ on the other hand will be seeking to extend their lead to seven points.
The two teams have faced each other three times in official matches this season; with Rollers have the better of Chiefs on all occasions. The on the field rivalry has on two occasions snowballed to off the field feuding as the two teams took their enmity to the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC). On both occasions Rollers came out on top.
With a paltry four points separating the two teams and only four games left before the final whistle of the league, another bout of on and off the field battle seems on the cards.
Still smarting from the dismissal of their appeal against Rollers, Chiefs, who are promising to wage an all out war with their rivals on the field of play are rumoured to be planning to lodge another protest against Rollers should they use the duo of Ofentse Nato and Terrence Mandaza. “Chiefs are still yet to decide whether they will lodge an appeal against the ruling of the BPL DC. The disciplinary committee dismissed their protest against Rollers for using Nato and Mandaza during the second leg of their Mascom Top 8 semifinal clash. There is however belief that should Rollers use the two “defaulters” again on Saturday, Chiefs would lodge another protest, a source close to the Magosi Camp disclosed. Reached for comment, Chiefs official, Raymond Tsheko said the team officials are yet to decide whether an appeal on the BPL DC ruling will be made, directing all queries on the matter to the Club Public Relations Officer Clifford Mogomotsi. He however said going into the weekend clash with Rollers, Magosi will be seeking to win to narrow the gap between them to just one point. “This is a very important game for us as we look to defend our title. The plan is to go all out to win three points. At worst, we will do better to come away with a draw to maintain the four points lead they have on us,” Tsheko said.
He pointed out that looking at the league run in, Chiefs have more winnable games compared to Rollers, hence the need to narrow the points gap or ensure Rollers do not extend the lead. “Going into the last three games, Rollers will have to face Police XI, Green Lovers as well as fellow title contenders Orapa United. On the other hand, after playing Rollers, we will have to face BDF XI, Nico United and Jwaneng Galaxy, which are winnable games,” Tsheko said.
Rollers PRO Bafana Pheto on the other hand said his team will go into Saturday’s ‘crucial game’ looking to extend their lead over Chiefs to seven points. He said despite the number of protests against them, the team will never lose focus and will just soldier on. “We have informed our players and technical team not to be distracted by the current shenanigans by our rivals as they are just meant to derail our campaign. Their job is to win games on the field of play and they should leave us as the management to fight the of field battles,” Pheto said. He however said as Rollers management, they will not shy away from using the players at their disposal, adding that Nato and Mandaza will be on the match sheet when they play Chiefs on Saturday.