Monday, April 12, 2021

Premier League investigation starts Tuesday

The President of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) David Fani has been invited to appear before the Botswana Premier League appointed Chief Prosecutor into the fixtures debacle, which saw four teams in the league assigned the same venue last week on Saturday May 5 2012. The games were aborted just before kick-off.

In a letter appointing an investigator for the debacle, Botswana Premier League Chief Executive Officer, Bennett Mamelodi, said the circumstances which led to the games being aborted need to be investigated so that “I can objectively report to the Premier League Board what transpired and to allow for recommendations to be made, including but not limited to, having those who may be culpable if any, prosecuted if there is a prima facie case against them”.

Mamelodi has consequently appointed local attorney Tshiamo Rantao to lead the investigation into several issues surrounding the operations of the league and the compliance of the league with other football governing statutes and instruments.

According to the terms of reference of the investigation, the first aspect to be looked into will be to establish the circumstances which led to the recent failure of two fixtures which clashed at University of Botswana stadium.

The fixtures were between Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Selebi Phikwe side Nico United and Francistown based TAFIC Sporting Club and Township Rollers Football Club. The investigator has been charged with the responsibility to recommend action that needs to be taken in view of the said failure.

The bulk of the investigation will centre on the next Terms of Reference. Rantao has further been given the mandate to generally investigate whether or not the structures and operations of the Botswana Premier League are in line with FIFA rules and regulations, the constitution of the Botswana Football Association, the BFA Play Rules and regulations, the revised Bosele Declaration, and other applicable laws of the games.

Due to the voluminous nature of the documents and instruments that have to be interrogated in the investigation to establish compliance or lack thereof, legal experts and football pundits have expressed doubts that such an ardous task cannot be completed in 48 hours. No less than 18 interviewees have been invited to appear at the hearings. In the letter appointing the investigator, Mamelodi said he expects the report to be presented to him on or before Friday 18 May 2012, just two days after the interviews. The investigator will also have to make recommendations, if any, in respect of the said issues and to make other findings and recommendations which are incidental to the above terms of reference.

Appearing with Fani on Tuesday will be other football bigwigs amongst them the Chairman of the premier league board, Mike Molefe, Chairman of the Premier League Management Committee, Legal Advisor BFA Tebogo Sebego and the Premier League General Manager Setete Phuthego.

Also invited to appear before the investigation are Chairpersons and Secretaries of the four teams. The Wednesday session will be interviews for Thapelo Radifalana, Abigail Sejanamane, Anastacia Sibanda and Duncan Kgangkenna.

It was not clear at the time of writing if the interviews will be open to the public or held in camera.

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