Mochudi Centre Chiefs’ attempt to avoid appearance before the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has hit a snag. The Kgatleng side has been summoned by the BPL Prosecutor to appear before the BPL DC to show course why they should not face charges over the failed league title deciding match against archrivals Township Rollers.
In what was a shambles of a play-off game, Chiefs took only seven players to the game which was billed for Francistown. The game was, however, called off with just barely half an hour gone after the Kgatleng outfit was reduced to six men following an injury to defender Arnold Mampori.
In the aftermath of the abandoned playoff, the BPL p Mike Rasetshwane hauled Chiefs before the BPL DC to explain why they should not face disciplinary charges.
Making the BPL case against Chiefs on Friday evening, Rasetshwane said the league is of the belief that owing to the events surrounding the play-offs, there were reasons to believe Chiefs should face charges related to misconduct. However, when called on to show course, Centre Chiefs, through their representative Lore Morapedi, raised a jurisdictional challenge on the legitimacy of the BPL DC to prosecute teams facing charges of misbehaviour.
In his arguments, Morapedi said according to Article 12.2 of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Play Rules and Regulations, only the BFA DC could deal with issues of misbehaviour. Morapedi argued that as such, the BPL DC did not have inherent powers or jurisdiction in charges related to misbehaviour.
Responding to Chiefs’ argument, Rasetshwane argued that any conduct of “misconduct in the first instance” must be dealt with by the structure parallel to it, which in the Chiefs’ case of a Premier League game, is the BPL DC. He further said while there was nowhere in the Play Rules and Regulations that showed the BPL DC could hear cases of misbehaviour, the BFA Constitution, which takes precedence over the BFA Play Rules bestows them with such powers.
He said the matter is covered under Paragraph 12.5.3 and 188.8.131.52.2 of the BFA Constitution. Making their ruling, BPL DC chairperson Busang Manewe argued that “they have the jurisdiction to hear the matter”. However, he said the reasons for such a ruling will be made clear at a later stage.
Despite Chiefs’ arguments that they be given reasons for such a ruling as they intend to appeal, the BPL DC did not budge and the hearing was postponed to Monday to give the team some time to prepare.
Chiefs are likely to face three charges of misconduct. On count one, Magosi are charged with “bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to Article 25.6 of BFA Play Rules and Regulations, read with Law 3 of The FIFA Laws of the Game for failing to secure an adequate number of players, including substitutes, to enable the football match to be played to finality.” The second count relates to “conduct by Mochudi Centre Chiefs, which is prejudicial to the welfare of development of football, contrary to Article 25.2 of the BFA Play Rules and Regulations. This conduct is disruptive to the league and discourages sponsors from assisting in the development of football”, while the last count relates to “contravention of Article 25.1 of BFA Play Rules and Regulations. Failure to obey instructions, orders and decisions of the NEC directing the play-off match between the two teams to conclude matches for the 2015/2016 season”.