The logic and absurdity of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Play Rules and Regulations came under scrutiny as Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Rollers continue to haggle for points. In what has been a back and forth legal battle for the beMobile Premier League title that has culminated in never ending strife, both team representatives and the BFA National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) were left befuddled by lack of clarity and logic within the rules.
Following the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) overturning the BPL Board decision that Rollers be docked ten points for fielding Ofentse Nato, who was deemed a defaulter by the NDC, Chiefs filed an appeal to the NDC calling for the BPL decision to be reversed and the BPL Board decision to be upheld.
Making their case before the NDC, Chiefs, through club Chairman Raymond Tsheko and the team’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Clifford Mogomotsi, argued that the BPL DC had erred as it did not implement the NDC judgment as ordered by the NDC. According to the Chiefs representatives, the NDC ‘had ordered Botswana Premier League to apply the necessary sanctions against Township Rollers Football Club as per Article 6.2.1 of the Play Rules and Regulations for all ‘games in which Mr. Ofentse Nato played in, i.e. he must have actually participated in the field of play.’ According to the stipulated article, “any team that fields a defaulter in a league game and a complaint or protest or information about the use of an alleged defaulter is brought to the attention of the relevant league or disciplinary committee within 30 days of the said league game, shall forfeit 3 points and 2 goals to the opposing team for every game that the defaulter shall have played in a given season, provided that procedures for protests shall have been adhered to.”
However, according to Chiefs, the BPL DC erred in its interpretation of article 6.2.1 as it failed to deduct all points and 2 goals each that Rollers gained from the games Nato had played. Chiefs argued that even if the protest was deemed a complaint, the same punishment of docking of points and goals should have been applicable as long as it was made within 30 days after the games Nato had played in as a defaulter. However, in their argument, Rollers, through representatives Kgosietsile Ngakaagae and the team Secretary General Khumoyame Masonya, argued that while the NDC had pronounced that the BPL apply the necessary sanctions against Rollers for using a defaulter as per Article 6.2.1, the same article had a proviso that stipulated that ‘points can only be docked if proper protest had been adhered to.’ Ngakaagae argued that according to the rules, protests can only be lodged within seven days as per article 9.3 of the said BFA Play Rules and Regulations, adding that anything after the stipulated seven days period was just a complaint and should just carry a fine. However, when asked why a complaint made after 30 days should carry a heftier fine than that done within 30 days, the Rollers representative, as with the BFA NDC was lost for words. In the end, both the NDC and the sides conceded that there was a lot of inconsistencies and lack of proper clarity in the BFA play rules and regulations.