Wednesday, November 29, 2023

NDC flip flops on judgment orders but stands resolute on Nato

The Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) has stood by its earlier ruling that Township Rollers midfielder Ofentse Nato is a defaulter. Though admitting there were some ‘minor interpretation errors’ in their earlier judgment as read in the wee hours of Wednesday 20th morning last month, the NDC remained resolute in their determination that Nato was a defaulter.

Among its orders, the NDC called for the cancellation of Nato’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC), for the Botswana Premier League to apply the necessary sanctions against Township Rollers Football Club as per Article 6.2.1 of the Play Rules and Regulations for all ‘games in which Mr. Ofentse Nato played in, i.e. he must have actually participated in the field of play.’ The NDC also called for ‘Township Rollers be fined BWP1000.00 for any other league game in which Mr. Ofentse Nato played.’ While in their written final ruling, the BFA NDC corrected its ‘minor errors of judgment,’ it on the other hand completely omitted their order for Nato’s ITC to be cancelled, a point which had raised questions in their judgment. However, when making a ruling in a request in which Rollers had asked the NDC to provide them with the original copy of their judgment as read on the morning of the 20th April as well as to rescind their judgment based on the FIFA circular number 818 of September 2002 which sought to ensure unemployed professional players can be registered outside the normal transfer window, the NDC admitted to making some ‘minor errors of judgment.’

“The committee noted that the draft judgment that was read out on the morning of the 20th had a few errors of interpretation and thus made minor adjustments on the orders in its final copy,” the NDC said in its ruling as read by member Billy Sekgororoane this past Friday. Among the minor adjustments, while the NDC had ruled for sanctions to be applied for all games had played in their draft judgment, their final written judgment however said the sanctions should be applied ‘provided that procedures for protests shall be adhered to.’ In their final written judgment, the NDC also backtracked on their earlier order for Rollers to pay a fine of P1000 for every league game Nato played in, and rather ordered they pay only P1000 within 14 days of the date of the judgment. As was with their final written judgment, the NDC, in their Friday ruling, once again side stepped their order for Nato’s ITC to be cancelled but still stood by their earlier determination that Nato was a defaulter.

“Township Rollers asked us to reconsider our judgment based on the fact that there was a circular issued by FIFA in 2002, which was circular 818. In passing of its judgment, the DC was alive to the FIFA Circular 818 issued in September 2002 and the Play Rules and Regulations authorising the associations to register professionals outside the normal transfer window. The declaration of Mr Nato as a defaulter was however not based on the fact that he was registered outside the transfer window but it was based on article 8 which deals with the procedure to be followed in application and issuance of an International Transfer Certificate, not on whether he was registered within or outside the transfer window of the BFA. We thus cannot rescind our judgment based on the contents of FIFA Circular 818,” Sekgororoane concluded.


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