Thursday, December 3, 2020

Rollers drive BFA into a corner

Township Rollers’ on the field panache has nothing on their legal fancy footwork which is in full brio as they seek to overturn a Botswana Football Association National Disciplinary Committee’s (BFA NDC) decision declaring Ofentse Nato a defaulter.

Instead of appealing the NDC decision, Rollers pulled a trick out of the hat, setting up BFA against FIFA. Rollers announced this week that they will be appealing to FIFA to help clarify rules governing football. Rollers legal advisor, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae is questioning the BFA NDC’s competence to declare Nato a defaulter saying this effectively over-ruled a FIFA decision.

 “We are going to write to BFA and FIFA seeking clarity on the issue. We want to know whether the NDC took the right decision or not.  We want the correct interpretation of the law,” Ngakaagae said in an interview with Sunday Standard Sports.

This comes across as a sleight of hand by Rollers to move FIFA to explain if their decisions can be overruled by a subordinate body like the BFA NDC.

He said as Rollers, they have a problem with the NDC canceling Nato’s International Transfer Certificate (ITC). “FIFA is the mother body to BFA; we cannot understand how the inferior body can overrule the mother body’s decision. In terms of hierarchy BFA is an affiliate to FIFA and we wonder whether it is proper for the lower structure to cancel the parent body documents,” wondered Ngakaagae. 

“We will not be appealing the BFA NDC decision we are just going to write to FIFA for the football governing body to give clarifications. We are only concerned with the FIFA statutes. We think it is wrong for the NDC to have come to that decision and we want FIFA to provide guidance,” he said. 

Should FIFA’s clarification go against the NDC decision, the Rollers’ hand would be strengthened to reverse the ruling that declared Nato a defaulter.

Football commentator, Aupa Mokotedi says all blame lies with the Registration Authority. “We cannot hold the team liable for wrongs they did not commit. If a team presents inappropriate documents they should be sent back to rectify them and in this case Rollers should have been sent back to regularize their registration documents,” he said. 

Mochudi Centre Chiefs who fought in vain to have Rollers kicked out of the Mascom Top 8 final have since decided not to pursue the matter further. “It won’t serve any purpose because we wanted Rollers to be kicked out of Top 8 and if we appeal the decision would only be academic because the final would have taken place. We are however still aggrieved” said communications Manager Clifford Mogomotsi.

The Chiefs spokesperson is however happy that, “the NDC ruling unearthed deficiencies in the way we have been doing things and it is up to football leaders to come on board and started doing things properly,” Mogomotsi said. 

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.