Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Chaos as BTC Premiership resumes

After the end of the mandatory two weeks FIFA international break, which saw Botswana drop off the Afcon race, the excitement was back for local football supporters this past weekend as the Botswana Premier League (BPL) resumed.

In a chaotic weekend that saw matches billed for the UB Stadium delayed, at least nineteen (19) goals scored, with goals scored in all the matches, bar the goalless draw between BDF XI and Jwaneng Galaxy.

In all the excitement, there were also moments of angst for supporters as the Rollers ÔÇô Chiefs clash had to be delayed to allow for supporters to get into the match venue.

Here is how the eighth (8th) week of the BTC Premiership penned out;

Chiefs halt ‘The Blue Train,’ almost!

It was expected to be a walk over for Rollers when they met up with archrivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

However, as the games between these local football giants go, Rollers never got it easy and they had to fight to gain a point from the match as they came from behind to draw 1 ÔÇô 1 with Magosi.

In a well attended game, Magosi took the lead through the boot of Arnold Mampori to send their followers into ruptures of joy.

The joy was however short-lived as Rollers’s Katlego Monyake equalised just a mere two minutes later.

While the draw saw Chiefs drop down two places from position nine to position 11 in the log, it will serve as a morale booster for the Kgatleng side.

For Rollers, who were playing their first game since the departure of Coach Nikola Kavazovic, the draw had not so much of an impact as they still cling to first position in the league log.

Chaos at UB Stadium ÔÇô when will we learn?

If there is anything learnt from the weekend’s fixtures at the University Stadium, it is that local football administrators never learn!

This all started when Sharps Shooting Stars turned up late for their match against Black Forest. Whether this was by mistake or by design, we do not know.

The chaotic start seemed to spill into the Chiefs versus Rollers game which had to start late for crowd control reasons.

While tickets were supposed not to be sold at the match venue, it was not to be and this resulted with many supporters still locked outside at the time of kickoff, leading to potential chaos as impatient supporters wanted a way in.

As a result, the game had to be delayed to allow for supporters to get into the match venue.

BDF XI draws with Orapa

While all eyes were on the Rollers ÔÇô Chiefs clash, elsewhere, the league’s dark horses BDF XI were locked in their own battle with fellow title pretenders Jwaneng Galaxy.

With both teams playing to a goalless draw, it meant the status quo was maintained at the top of the BTC premiership table.

BDF XI is still on third place, two points behind Rollers and a point behind second placed Orapa, though they have played one game lesser than the latter.

Meanwhile, Galaxy, who are yet to lose a game this season, dropped one place and are now out of the top 4, swapping positions with Shooting Stars who moved one place up.

Is UB Stadium capable of hosting some category A matches?

In the past, the UB Stadium has successfully hosted big matches and big sporting events.

However, this past Saturday, the Stadium could seemingly not host the large crowd that thronged UB Stadium to watch the Chiefs ÔÇô Rollers clash.

While there is no doubt that the Stadium can host major competitions, is it however capable of hosting ‘some category A games?’

This is the question the powers that be will have to ponder over the next coming weeks.

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Read this week's paper

The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.