Saturday, October 16, 2021

Did BPL match tickets fall into the wrong hands?

Township Rollers officials investigating the recent ticket scam  say they are looking into how a non-employee of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) was allowed to handle match tickets.

A delivery note in Sunday Standard’s possession, which was allegedly signed for by the intern who is the prime suspect in the match ticket scandal, points to a certain James Phuthego as the intended tickets recipient.

Speaking in an interview, Borakanelo Police Station Commander Mothusi Phadi said they were aware of the said man and are investigating how he got involved in BPL match tickets.

“We are in possession of a delivery note from Express Copy Shop who are the printers. As part of our investigations, we want to establish from the printers why the delivery note is written for attention James Phuthego. We want to know his involvement in the ticket purchase at the BPL,” Phadi explained.

“We would also like to establish from the BPL office as to where in their structure does the said individual cited in the delivery note work,” the officer said.

He, however, said the process was not a pronouncement of guilt but just part of the investigation as they try to get to understand ticket processes at the BPL.

Reached for comment, BPL Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thabo Ntshinogang said investigations into the ticket saga are ongoing.

“Investigations are still ongoing.   We are working with the police on this matter,” he said.

Concerning the tickets, Ntshinogang said it was the BPL Accounts Department that is “responsible for receiving and signing for the tickets”.

On the issue of Phuthego who is mentioned in the delivery notes of the BPL tickets, Ntshinogang said the individual was “a volunteer within the BFA structures”.

However, he could not answer whether the said individual deals with tickets at the BPL.

The investigation into the ticket fraud comes on the back of last week’s incident in which Township Rollers officials nabbed unknown individuals selling match tickets without the knowledge or authority of the team.

The said transgression occurred prior to the BPL’s Category A match between defending league champions Rollers and rivals Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

From the onset, preliminary evidence seemed to point at an accusatory finger at the BPL offices, with an official at the secretariat immediately taken in for questioning by the police.

Meanwhile, Ntshinogang refused to shed light on whether the intern who was implicated in the ticket scandal had returned to work.

“I am not at liberty to answer that question,” the Acting BPL CEO said.

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