Saturday, December 2, 2023

Rollers players contemplate boycotting Zebras call up

Six Township Rollers players may boycott a national team call up in solidarity with team mate Ofentse Nato who has been declared a defaulter by the Botswana Football Association Appeals Board.

The BFA has also called Nato to camp despite that he has been declared a defaulter.

The BFA seems to have painted itself into a corner and Township Rollers on the other hand are turning up the heat.

The stand-off has escalated following a recent Appeals Board judgment which upheld a Gilport Lions’ protest against log leaders Township Rollers that Nato was a defaulter. The BFA after studying the judgment, inform the league authority to deduct three points and two goals from Rollers for using a defaulter.

The premier league board on Wednesday announced that they had deducted a total of 10 points from Rollers for using Nato.

This follows yet to be heard protests filed by Miscellaneous, FC Satmos and Mochudi Centre Chiefs. 

Sources close to Mapalastina have disclosed that six team players are mooting a show of solidarity with Nato by boycotting national team coach Peter Butler’s call to report for camp. 

The Zebras coach has called six Rollers players to camp, namely, Nato, Joel Mogorosi, Galabgwe Moyana, Kabelo Dambe, Kgosiitsile Kgosiitsile and Segolame Boy.

Other national team players are also expected to join the boycott in solidarity with Nato, a fellow Zebra.

Football players have to decide between defending a footballers” welfare cause represented by Nato or taking part in national team games. Most feel Nato has been made the fall guy for mistakes committed by football administrators.

Contacted for comment Rollers communications manager, Bafana Pheto would not confirm reports that his players will boycott the national team call up. “The BFA has written to Rollers and we have told the six players that they have been called up, that they are wanted to report for camp on Monday,” he said.

 “It is up to the players to decide whether to honour the call up or to boycott, not the management,” Pheto explained.  He said Rollers was surprised that the BFA could write to them asking for Nato to be released when the DC has ruled that he is not properly registered.

Contacted for comment national team captain Joel Mogorosi denied allegation that they have met as Rollers players to boycott the national team call.  “We don’t know who has been called and our manager has not told us anything but if some are called, we will honour the call.” Mogorosi rubbished allegation that they will not report for camp.

On Nato he said “the issue is very painful and hurts us a lot as his team mates. The way he is being treated as if he is the one who caused all these problems. The people who have made him look bad are walking free and everyday Nato is castigated for the wrong he did not commit” Mogorosi.

He said though the issue surrounding Nato is being addressed by management, they are supporting Size 10 to deal with the situation.

Meanwhile, the Township Rollers management is said to be adamant they will support the player throughout his ordeal. “As the management, they could have terminated Nato’s contract but their belief is that the player is just a pawn in football politics. They have thus vowed to continue paying him until his contract comes to an end,” the source revealed.


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