What was supposed to be an entertaining derby was turned into a near dull affair by the referee and one of his assistants.
The referee failed to stamp his authority, especially against several Gaborone United (GU) players who threw bone-crushing tackles. Some of the tackles, in a game that ended in a one all draw, were punishable with marching orders.
Three GU defenders, Bosarutweng ‘Booster’ Magola, Gobonyeone ‘Shoes’ Selefa and striker Ronald Chikomo, were the main culprits.
Magola was the worst culprit because he employed double legged tackles. He should have long been sent off by the referee but to many people’s surprise, he was voted Man of the Match, something that did not go down well with many Township Rollers supporters and management.
Magola was even subjected to booing by Rollers supporters when he received the price. Upon realizing that the referee was lenient on the dangerous tackles, Rollers players were afraid to face Magola once he was in possession.
The referee’s assistant, who was on the eastern side of the field, looks to have a long way to go in as far as off-sides are concerned, and was worse in the first half.
Rollers Managing Director, Somerset Gobuiwang, was irked by the choice of Man of the Match. He said even a blind person could see how dangerous Magola’s tackles were.
“I am definitely surprised by the choice of Man of the Match. Most of our players were afraid of facing him and I really do not know the criteria used to select him. There are several players at GU who had a very good game but not Magola. The message they are sending to other players is that there is nothing wrong with what he did,” he said.
The results, on the other hand, mean that Rollers have not won against GU in their past three matches. In the past season GU beat Rollers 3-2 in the first round of the league before rounding it off with a 5-2 score-line in the second round.