Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ratanang’s registration drives football to a tight corner

Botswana Football Association (BFA), Botswana Football League (BFL) and Township Rollers are on a collusion course over the latter’s registration of Onkarabile Ratanang.

As Rollers started breathing on the necks of log leaders Gaborone United, allegations that Ratanang was improperly registered started gaining momentum.

The matter has since snowballed and is threatening to create an all-sweeping Tsunami for local football. The controversial registration of the said player has put Rollers’ president and financier, Jagdish Shah in hot soup.

While at first they were viewed as just rumours meant to destabilise Rollers, things have heated up quickly and the BFA has since been dragged into the matter.

Following some utterances to the media attributed to Shah regarding Ratanang’s registration, the BFA has reacted. Late last month BFA CEO, Mfolo Mfolo wrote a letter to the Botswana Football league directing them to investigate the said utterances by Shah.

“Mr Shah is quoted in the media alleging that the Players Status Committee is to be blamed for the delay in processing the registration of a certain player. This is deceitful and brings the reputation of the BFA into disrepute,” read part of the letter Mfolo wrote to BFL CEO, Solomon Ramochotlhwane.

BFA further dismissed utterances made by Shah that Ratanang’s matter has been reported to the Player’s Status Committee. “There was no case that was brought to the players status committee concerning Ratanang,” noted BFA. 

Now as the issue snowballs, new allegations are emerging that an official from the BFA and another at Rollers connived to register the player outside registration period.

It is alleged that the player was registered on the 28th of October 2021, which was 23 days after the official registration window closed. An investigation is said to be currently underway to determine how the registration was done and concluded way after the window closed.

An attempt to reach both the BFA and Township Rollers for comment yielded little and both parties declined to comment as the matter is still under investigation.

“I will ordinarily not comment on the matter because the matter is still under investigation, so I do not want to preempt the outcome of the investigation,” BFA CEO Mfolo said.

The same approach was taken by Rollers’ Chief executive Officer (CEO), Bennett Mamelodi on the other hand said the club has “no opinion on the issue at the moment.”

Meanwhile, the BFL is set to investigate Shah and possible disciplinary action will be taken if his utterances are deemed offensive and unpalatable to the image of football.

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