Sunday, September 27, 2020

Premier league must deal firmly with indiscipline

Following last week’s incident when, after their game with GU, Mochudi Centre Chiefs chairman, Enerst Molome, stormed into the referee’s dressing rooms causing havoc, the Premier League committee (PLC) was, by Friday, acting like nothing had happened. Molome is reported to have assaulted a photographer and proceeded to the dressing rooms were he manhandled referees and uttered unpalatable words.

The photographer has since launched a case against Molome. No hearing was to be held to decide the Chiefs’ chairman’s fate, regrettably even he has not found it fit to make a public apology for his behavior.

Worryingly, however, Chiefs this entire week, through their mouth piece, Clifford Mogomotsi, seemed to justify the actions of their chairman by finding fault with the referee’s decisions. Mogomotsi argues that the referee who was in charge, Joshua Bondo, is in the habit of giving marching orders to his players.

To make matters worse, the chiefs chairman is a member of the PLC and his behaviour is seen as setting a bad precedent for other teams. Premier League secretary, Stete Phuthego, could not comment on the subject, saying he is a subordinate to Molome. Efforts to obtain comment from the PLC chairman, Mike Molefe, did not bear fruit as the chairman cited a hectic schedule.

Meanwhile, when asked for comment as to what actions they, as referees, they had decided to take, the Referees Committee Chairperson, Harris Lebotse, said: “As is conventional, a referee writes a match report after every game and any incidents go into the book; we have since submitted the referee report to the PLC and we are awaiting their response.”

However, Lebotse is aware that if the premier league committee does not take issue with the incident, the match report will be useless. Lebotse vowed that he would see to it that action is taken against Molome. A disciplinary committee (DC) member, Tebogo Sebego, told Sunday Standard that they only act on what is put on the table by PLC. Sebego explained that the premier league is supposed to act before referring any issue and establish if the incidents are within the parameters of the game. The incidents involving a photograph is said to be out of the parameters of the game.
Sebego, who is also BFA’s legal advisor, said he did not have detailed information on the incident which confirms that the PLC is yet to hand over the case to the DC. The impasse obtaining is that PLC has an inherent impairment in that its membership is composed of club chairmen.

Under the current set up, objectivity when dealing with issues involving any of the members’ clubs is difficult to find. The football fraternity should somehow be thankful that the Molome incident has come this early to show whether the Bosele declaration was flawed or not in bringing Club chairmen to the PLC. This also brings questions on what mechanisms should be used to govern the conduct of members and ensure impartiality and to whom they are accountable and to whom they report.

In the same game, some Chiefs’ players kept making a bee line for the referee through out the game and could not be restrained even by their captain. Were it not for Bondo’s leniency, Michael Mogaladi could have received his marching orders. His conduct since the beginning of the season has been appalling.

Tshepho Mothabankwe, while still at Extention Gunners, was subjected to an investigation and it was ruled that he incited supporters to assault a referee after their team lost to Boteti Young Fighters in a Coca Cola match. Motlhabankwe was brought to face the Disciplinary Committee and was slapped with a two months ban.

Last season, Tebogo Mothusi was fined P500 for disrupting play. A Nico United player, Eric Molebatsi, assaulted a referee, pinning him down. The incident saw the player being flogged at the Kgotla when the matter could have been dealt with by the premier league. The player was also suspended for some time.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.