Mochudi Centre Chiefs have requested that the Mascom Top 8 final be put on hold pending the resolution of their protest against Township Rollers. Chiefs have served letters to all concerned parties in the matter, including the Botswana Football Association (BFA), the BPL and the Mascom Top 8 Local Organising Committee (LOC) calling for the final to be postponed. This follows the Kgatleng side’s appeal over the dismissal of their protest by the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC).
Magosi’s contention before the BPL DC was that Rollers used two ineligible players, Ofentse Nato and Terrence Mandaza during their Mascom Top 8 semifinal clash at the Francistown Stadium on the 12th of March. In their arguments before the BPL DC, Chiefs said the fact that Rollers had registered and used both players after they (Rollers) had exhausted their quota renders the two players defaulters. Magosi argued that the registration and use of both Nato and Mandaza was therefore in violation of article 2.3 of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Play Rules and Regulations. However, in dismissing Chiefs protest, the BPL DC, while agreeing that the duo of Nato and Mandaza were defaulters, ruled that Magosi were also equally at fault.
“In the case at hand, the evidence clearly shows that the complaining party, Mochudi Centre Chiefs FC, is as guilty of registering players beyond the allowable quota as Township Rollers FC.
The evidence also shows that all the 16 teams in the Premier League have registered players in excess of the threshold of 25 as set by Regulation 2.3. We therefore hold the parties herein are mutually at fault and therefore the law should leave the case as it finds it. Mochudi Centre Chiefs can therefore not be granted the remedies it seeks on the basis of the in pari delicto rule (in equal fault),” the BPL DC ruled. Chiefs have however expressed unhappiness at the ruling, which they believe is skewed and have since appealed the judgement. Reached for comment, Chiefs’ Public Relations Officer (PRO), Clifford Mogomotsi, confirmed that they had called for the final to be put on hold to allow for their protest against Rollers to be resolved. “We still believe that we have a case against Rollers and we were not happy with the ruling by the BPL DC. As with all cases, we cannot pre-empt what will happen next hence the request for the Mascom Top 8 final to be put on hold. It is very imperative that this matter be totally resolved before any game can take place,” Mogomotsi explained.
According to the Chiefs spokesperson, contrary to the BPL DC ruling that all teams are equally at fault for contravening article 2.3 of the BFA Play Rules, his team is compliant as it has only 25 players in their register as per the rules. Mogomotsi alluded that Chiefs served all the concerned parties, including Rollers, with their appeal on the 7th of this month (April).
This was also confirmed by Rollers’ Secretary General Khumoyame Masonya who said the papers of appeal were served on the said date. He however said with the letter served on the same day when the BFA Circular No. 11 of 2016, directing that all protest lodged in accordance with rule 2.3 of the BFA Play Rules be stopped, they did not make an answering affidavit then.
“We were however told to submit an answering affidavit this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, we could not make it on such a short notice and we asked to be given more time. We however submitted the required answering affidavit at 12pm this past Friday,” the Rollers SG said. Masonya also confirmed that Chiefs have asked for the Mascom Top 8 final to be put on hold pending the resolution of the matter.