Township Rollers officials have vowed to continue using the services of under siege midfielder Ofentse Nato, who have been at the centre of controversy ever since he joined the team amid allegations that he was not properly registered. Rollers’ Public Relations Officer (PRO), Bafana Pheto has dismissed the allegations as a witch hunt and an attempt to destabilize his team.
“We all know that this is a ploy by Centre Chiefs and their fellow conspirators to make us lose focus. Chiefs are just two points behind us and they want to distract us with these frivolous allegations so they surpass us and win the league,” Pheto said.
He vowed that Rollers will continue using Nato or any other player of their choice, especially since a ruling was made in their favour during the Gilport Lions protest.
“There is no reason not to use him. The ruling against Gilport Lions was very detailed and it made it clear that Nato was not a defaulter. That ruling exonerated us on all counts and we are confident that we did everything according to the book. So we will continue using him no matter what other people say,” said Pheto.
He also accused other teams of acting in cahoots with Centre Chiefs to destabilize Township Rollers.
“We know that Gaborone United were courting Nato and they are behind these protests as well. They even gave supporting documents to Gilport Lions during their protest, which they used in their affidavits. Some of these people are very unprofessional. They must just accept that they have lost and stop these witch hunts,” he said.
Pheto said Rollers are focused on winning the league and more than ready to fight anyone who stands in their path.
“We expect more of these protests to come. We are ready for them and we will continue using all our registered players, including Nato, Terrence Mandaza and Gerald Phiri,” he said.
Rollers coach Mark Harrison uttered the same comments last weekend after his team thrashed Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the Mascom Top 8 semi-finals second leg. Asked if he will continue using Nato despite fresh protests from Centre Chiefs, Harrison said: “Absolutely. We stood down and kept the player out until we were told that he was registered properly. So there is no issue.”
The Rollers coach expressed exasperation at the latest protest on Nato, labelling it as embarrassing.
“We have been through this case twice with two different clubs. It’s just a waste of time. We have done everything properly and everyone knows that,” Harrison said.