The Botswana Football Association (BFA) has been caught out lying that Township Rollers aka The Blues has withdrawn a case it had lodged with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Contrary to reports by the local football governing body Botswana Football Association (BFA) that Rollers has withdrawn the Ofentse Nato defaulter protest it had filed with CAS, Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that the case will be heard either on 24th or 26th 0ctober.
Rollers confirmed this week that they have always wanted to continue with the case but were asked by the BFA to withdraw it. ‘’It should be understood that we never wanted to withdraw any case, we were approached by the BFA to withdraw the case but nothing concrete developed so we never withdrew the CAS case,” Rollers Spokesperson Bafana Pheto told Sunday Standard.
He revealed that during negotiations Rollers advised the BFA to engage Gilport Lions in the withdrawal talks as they are interested parties. ‘’We were disappointed by the manner in which the BFA handled this matter, the withdrawal announcement was premature and Gilport only heard about the withdrawal through a press statement issued by the BFA,” said Pheto. Gilport Lions Chairman Kelesitse Gilika said they were not part of any discussions to withdraw the CAS case despite being interested parties. “We believe that if Rollers want to withdraw the case they will have to compensate us costs that came along with processing the case documents,” said Gilika. Gilport Lions spent around P70 000 while filing case documents before charges to be billed by the lawyer when the case is settled out of court.
For his part, BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kitso Kemoeng briefly revealed there was nothing wrong with the press release as it was based on an agreement they reached with Rollers. ‘’When we released the announcement it was per our agreement with Rollers,” said Kemoeng. A letter from CAS which has been passed to the Sunday Standard states that ‘’the parties are advised that , pursuant to Article R57 of the CAS code, the panel has decided to hold a hearing in the case that involves Township Rollers FC vs. Gilport Lions FC, Botswana Football Association and Botswana Premier League which will be held in Lausanne”.
The letter further states that the panel will be available for hearing on the 24th or 26th of October. ‘’The parties are invited to advise the CAS Court office, by 6 September whether they should be available on those dates. If no objection is raised by the parties within the prescribed deadline, one of those dates will be confirmed by the panel. Should the parties have an objection, they are requested to provide the reasons of their unavailability,” stated the letter.