A playoff game between Township Rollers and Mochudi Centre Chiefs is on the offing to decide the destiny of the beMobile Premiership title.
The playoff comes after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) overruled the decision of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) not to deduct points from Rollers and award them to Chiefs and Miscellaneous after Rollers was deemed to have used a defaulter when playing against the two teams.
In their judgment, the BPL DC had ruled that both Chiefs and Miscellaneous not be awarded points as they did not follow proper protest procedures against Rollers for using Ofentse Nato, who had been deemed a defaulter. The BPL DC ruling aggrieved Chiefs, who then appealed to the BFA NDC. Chiefs contended that they had followed proper procedures in their protest, as per article 6.2.1 of the BFA Play Rules and Regulations, which reads thus, “Any team that fields a defaulter in a league game and complaint or protest or information about the use of an alleged defaulter is brought to the attention of the relevant league committee or disciplinary committee within 30 days of the said game shall forfeit three points and two goals to the opposing teams for every game that the defaulter shall have played in a given season, provided that procedures relating to protests shall be adhered to.”
Chiefs argued that as per the stipulated article, they had made their protest within the 30 days and therefore should be awarded the points.
‘Magosi’ also argued that further points be docked from Rollers and be awarded to both Miscellaneous and Police XI as Rollers had used Nato in the games against the two teams.
Despite Rollers contention that a proper protest can only be made within seven days as per article 9.3 of the Play Rules and Regulations, the BFA NDC ruled in favour of Chiefs and awarded them and Miscellaneous three points and two goals a piece. The BFA NDC however refused to dock Rollers points for their game against Police XI, saying there was no case as the latter had withdrawn their protest. The decision of the BFA NDC left Chiefs two points ahead of Rollers at the summit of the league log.
“As this order leaves the final log standings at 65 points for Chiefs and 63 points for Rollers, a playoff game to determine the league champion is ordered between the two teams which will be played within ten days of today. This is in terms of article 5.3 of the BFA Play Rules which reads as follows, ‘where teams gain goals and points through forfeiture by others, and consequently qualify for a league championship, promotion to a higher league or avoid relegation and such gain has displaced other teams which would otherwise have qualified, or avoided relegation, the concerned teams shall have playoffs and the winner of such game shall qualify for the league championship or promotion to the higher league or avoid relegation.’ That is our order,” the BFA NDC ruled.