Thursday, July 18, 2024

FIFA consider Rollers as Champions

The Board of the domestic elite league was this week left with an egg of the face after it emerged that world football governing body, FIFA, has written the Botswana Football Association President, Tebogo Sebego, a congratulatory message to Township Rollers. 

In a letter date 9 May 2016, the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino in his congratulatory message is states: “Township Rollers are the Botswana champions for the 13th time. It gives me a great pleasure to send my heartfelt congratulations to Township Rollers and their indomitable team on this great achievement.”  

The letter comes after the league board led by acting Chairman Rapula Okaile took a decision to deduct 10 points from Rollers for fielding Ofentse Nato who was declared a defaulter by the BFA National Disciplinary Committee (BFA NDC). The action catapulted Mochudi Centre Chiefs to the summit of the league log and ultimately led to Chiefs’ successful defense of the league title. Magosi were declared champions immediately after last game of the season against Jwaneng Galaxy and the team was thus given medals and awarded a trophy in Jwaneng. 

Reached for comment, BFA President Tebogo Sebego said he was not aware of the existence of such a letter. “I am in Mexico. I am not aware but I will check my mail when I get home,” the BFA President replied. Commenting on the letter the BFA Chief Executive Officer, Kitso Kemoeng said he has never seen the letter. “I don’t recall seeing such letter and there have been many correspondences from FIFA may be I missed it. Or it might have gone straight to the president of the BFA,” said Kemoeng. 

Rollers mouthpiece, Bafana Pheto said they have seen the letter on FIFA website.  Sunday Standard search on the website however did not bear any fruit and could not find the letter.  Pheto said what the letter said is not different from what they have always believed. “At Rollers we have never doubted that we were the champions. We are yet to appear before the premier league Disciplinary committee for other protest against my team,” he explained.  

Late last month, the BFA NDC had listened to Gilport Lions protest against Rollers for using Nato. The BFA NDC ruled in favor of Gilport and premier league who were supposed to deduct 3 points two goals went on to deduct 10 points for other protests that were not heard. 

On Friday BFA NDC set aside the decision by Rapula Okaile to dock ten points and rollers went back to the top of the log table. 


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