This past week, the Botswana Football League (BFL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) slapped Township Rollers with a P15 000 fine for its alleged unlawful registration of Onkarabile Ratanang.
As expected, the sanction has since attracted derision from the entire local football fraternity. In response, ‘the BFL’ has since lodged an appeal over the ruling which it believes ‘will set a bad precedence’ if allowed to stand.
The BFL’s move is however said to be causing fissures within the BFL shareholders. It is said that some within the shareholders are not happy with the decision and have already registered their displeasure over such.
According to the concerned shareholders, at the heart of their displeasure, is the decision of the BFL to appeal the ruling without consulting with them. “We have never met and there is no resolution that the board has taken against the recent judgment,” one shareholder revealed.
They further explained that they have never seen the judgment and they cannot appeal on something that they did not see nor discuss. The BFL board has to meet and discuss the judgment and make an informed opinion.
“BFL is a company run by shareholders and collectively they have to make decisions in the running of the entity. The board has to meet and discuss the judgment and make an informed decision that will not have negative bearing on the integrity and competence of the board,” they explained. They contend that if procedure is not followed and it back fires it will dent their reputation and that of the league.
“Procedures and rules had to be applied in everything so that the entire integrity of the league and the board is not suspect or questionable. Football and the league have to be protected. We have to make a resolution and map the way forward. We might end up protesting or not after thoroughly informing ourselves of the issue at hand,” they opined.
While not all the BFL shareholders are happy with the decision, BFL chief executive officer (CEO) Solomon Ramochotlhwane believes it is in the best interest of the league to appeal.
Ccommenting on the matter, the BFL CEO said the decision was reached after a meeting with the BFL prosecutors to discuss and analyse the ruling of the DC.
“The league is appealing on sanctions. The P15 000 charges will set a bad precedence and might end up putting leagues in disarray. Judgments must serve as deterrence so that similar incidents should not re-occur,” said BFL CEO Solomon Ramochotlhwane.
Ratanang was signed 23 days after the closure of the transfer period. The matter was reported to the players’ status committee to determine the status of the player. The committee ruled that the player is a defaulter. However, there was no team that complained or protested hence Rollers could not be deducted points.
The Ratanang saga led to some officials from Rollers being suspended from football activities together with former competitions manager. The premier league board is scheduled to meet next weekend on the 6th August.