Sunday, May 26, 2024

GU slips

Gaborone United (GU) has launched a protest against Security Systems for contravening article 3 of the rules of the game concerning substitutions.

According to the said article, “each team will be permitted to use a maximum of five substitutes. To reduce disruption to the match, each team will have a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the game; substitutions may also be made at half-time. If both teams make a substitution at the same time, this will count as one of the three opportunities for each team.” 

Botswana Football League (BFL) spokesperson Mosinegape Tshoswane acknowledged they received the protest, which he says was also copied to Botswana Football Association (BFA).

In their protest, the defending league champions allege that Systems exceeded the maximum number of opportunities allowed to make substitutions. They allege that Systems made four substitution stoppages during the second half.

GU was held to a 2 – 2 draw by Systems on Saturday afternoon. The draw saw GU slip to second position in the Botswana Premier League (BPL) standings as Jwaneng Galaxy usurped the apex. 

In an interview, GU marketing manager Hebert Letsebe confirmed his team has lodged a protest with the BFL. “The protest is now with the BFL and they will hand it to the relevant structures for determination,” he says.

He further went on to clarify that theirs ‘is a protest, not a complaint’ as it had been reported in the media. This means Systems will now be hauled before the Disciplinary Committee for contravening the laws of the game.

If found guilty, Systems will likely lose the point they got from the clash. GU on the other hand will be awarded the game points and three goals. With Galaxy now leading and the chasing pack breathing on the neck of GU, the points will be expected to come handy in the race for the league title this season.

While Systems stand accused, the matter is now likely to put a spotlight on the competence of local referees. Already, some are saying the match officials, rather than Systems should be blamed if indeed it is true more substitutions than allowed were used.

“The match officials as the record keepers during the match should have been aware of this contravention. They should have just informed Systems they cannot make any substitutions anymore as they had used all their allowed opportunities,” one administrator says.

For those close to GU however, Systems cannot be exonerated from the issue. They believe that Systems should be aware of the laws governing the game. For them, even ‘ignorance cannot be used as an excuse.’

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