Mochudi Centre Chiefs have called for Township Rollers to be disqualified from the Mascom Top 8 tournament for fielding defaulters.
The Kgatleng outfit contends that Rollers used two ineligible players, Ofentse Nato and Terrence Mandaza during their Mascom Top 8 semifinal clash at the Francistown Stadium on 12th March. Making submissions before the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC), Chiefs representatives Gabriel Kanjabanga and Clifford Mogomotsi argued that the said players should not have played in the game as they were defaulters. In their arguments, the Chiefs representative said the two players should be declared defaulters because they were registered after Rollers had exhausted their quota.
Kanjabanga argued that registration and use of both Nato and Mandaza was in violation of Article 2.3 of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Play Rules and Regulations.
“While the stipulated Article states that clubs shall only register 25 players at any given time for their main team, Rollers exceeded the quota as it registered 28 players,” argued Kanjabanga.
He added that any players who were registered after the stipulated quota, as Nato and Mandaza had been, should therefore not be used in official matches and should be deemed defaulters should such happen.
“This is in line with Article 6.1.4 which defines a defaulter as a player who is registered after any of the stipulated quotas have been exhausted,’ said Kanjabanga.
Chiefs further argued that the only time a team can be allowed to register more players (up to 30 for the main team) is when they wish to use players from their junior teams, who will have to be under the age of 17 years. Neither Nato nor Mandaza fall in the said age category, said Chiefs, hence they should not have been used in official matches. The Kgatleng side added that they didn’t have a problem with Rollers registering the players, but rather with the players being used in an official match. Kanjabanga said with this in mind, Rollers should therefore be censored for breaching the rules as per Article 6.4 of the BFA Play Rules and Regulations, read in conjunction with Article 5.2 of the Mascom Top 8 Play Rules and Regulations.
In defence, Rollers representative Kgosietsile Ngakaagae said the protest should be dismissed as it was not filed by Mochudi Centre Chiefs Sporting Club but rather Mochudi Centre Chiefs Trust.
“They (Chiefs) brought the protest before the DC as a Trust. However, nothing in the protest papers speaks of a Trust; everything speaks of a constitutional entity called Mochudi Centre Chiefs Sporting Club, the certificate of which we have annexed to our answering papers. That is what their papers say and Raymond Tsheko signed them as Chairperson of the Society, not the Trust. He signed as Chairperson of the Society, when in fact he was not; he was never elected Chairperson of the Society,” argued Ngakayagae.
He called for the protest to be declared invalid. In response to Chiefs’ contention that Rollers exceeded the stipulated quota, Ngakayagae said that was not unusual because all teams are in breach as they have exceeded the quota. Chiefs however denied this, saying they are compliant with the said statute. Chiefs further countered Rollers arguments that the protest should be dismissed as it was made by the Trust and not the society, saying the Trust was allowed to act on behalf of Chiefs as the club is operating under the auspices of the Trust. Judgment on the protest has been reserved to a date yet to be announced.