Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Jungle Kings cry foul over suspensions

The decision by the Botswana Premier League (BPL) to suspend Police XI head coach Sthanda Mogwadi and his assistant Junior Letlamoreng has irked the Jungle Kings’ management.

The club’s chairman, Solomon Mantswe, has vowed that they defend their technical team when they come before chief prosecutor Tshiamo Rantao on Thursday evening in Gaborone.

The duo was suspended on allegations that they used abusive language towards match officials at the end of their be-Mobile Premier League game against Mochudi Centre Chiefs on March 22.

The Jungle Kings lost the game 2-1 and it is alleged that out of frustration both Mogwadi and Letlamoreng vented their anger at referee Dintwa Dintwa and his assistants.

The matter did not go down well with the BPL leading them to suspension of the two officials.
“The cited officials have been clearly implicated in the match officials reports in our possession on allegation of threat of violence and use of abusive language contrary to Article 14.4 as read with 24.4 and 24.5 of the Botswana Football Association Play Rules and Regulations,” read part of the charge sheet from BPL.

A disappointed Mantswe claimed that it seems someone was after his club because never before have officials been brought before the DC for such an offense. He added that it seems that the ground is not level when it comes to Botswana football.

“I was at the said game and believe you me, there was not violence. What the referee did on that day was a total embarrassment. If my official (Letlamoreng) can be charged for saying that the officiating on the day was an embarrassment then I don’t care if they can charge me too,” said Mantswe on Friday afternoon.

Mantswe pointed out that they could have snatched a draw in their game against Chiefs but for some reason match officials decided otherwise.

He said Chiefs’ goalkeeper Raphael Nthwane faked an injury after realizing that he has a letdown for his side.

“The referee and his assistant signaled a goal in our favour but upon realizing that Nthwane was down they changed the decision. These things kill our football. I can tell you that the suspension of my coaches was unwarranted and have no basis in the law,” said Mantswe.

Police XI made a return to the Premier League at the start of 2013/14 season following their de-registration in 2012.

Meanwhile, Motlakase chairman Grembo Kealotswe and publicity officer Monty Gagomokgwa were also slapped with the suspension following their 1-0 loss to Township Rollers at Swallows Ground in Palapye on March 22. It is alleged that the two officials also threatened referee Uyapo Julius following his decision to award Rollers a penalty right at the death which led to Mapalastina getting maximum points. “This is not the first time that Julius cheated us this season. It seems he has something against my team and such things are killing our football,” said Motlakase official who did not want to be named for fear of victimization. Motlakase officials will also appear before chief prosecutor on Thursday.

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