Kutlwano Volleyball Club has appealed the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Games Organising Committee (GOC)’s decision to dock them set points for fielding a defaulter. The appeal was launched six days after the team was found guilty of using their star player Tracy Chaba in an official league game against Dynamites Volleyball Club despite her being ineligible to play.
In a case reminiscent of the Ofentse Nato saga that is currently wreaking havoc in local football, Dynamites, who had lost the game to Kutlwano in three straight sets on the 21st May this year, lodged a protest with the BVF GOC. The Ramotswa based outfit felt that Chaba was indecently registered by Kutlwano upon her return from a short playing stint with Egyptian giants Zamalek.
The BVF GOC ruled in favour of Dynamites and that Kutlwano forfeit three straight sets to the Ramotswa side, a decision which has not gone down well with Kutlwano club hierarchy. ‘Big House as Kutlwano is affectionately called, feel the judgment was unfair as per their understanding of the federations play rules and regulations.
Speaking in an interview, Kutlwano Ladies coach Dopp Popo said they have appealed because they strongly believe Chaba was properly registered and eligible to play in the local league.
“We are of the belief that we did nothing wrong. According to my little understanding of the play rules, a player is only a defaulter when they have nothing in the form of documents to show, which is not the case with the said player. We believe that Chaba meets all the requirements to play in the league. On the day in question, the organizers found that her blue book was available and we enquired with Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) about Chaba’s status and we were advised to write a letter which indicated our intentions and we did exactly that,” he said.
Popo’s assertion has however been questioned by sources closer to the case, who contend that on the contrary, Chaba did not have any valid documents that justifies her eligibility to play. They insist that rather, at the said time, Kutlwano presented the player’s outdated blue book dated 2001. The team is also said to have failed to provide the player’s International Clearance Certificate.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Kutlwano’s appeal might end up opening can of worms that will put the club in a more threatening state as there are still some lingering feelings that Chaba is still not eligible to play in the league.