Sunday, November 29, 2020

Torrid end to premier league season

A series of mishaps on the side of the Premier League Board of Governors is threatening to cloud what could otherwise have been a scintillating 2015/16 elite league season. The league’s Board of Governors stands accused of bringing the league into disrepute, with the Township Rollers appeal yet to be adjudicated by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS).

Rollers launched an adhoc appeal with the CAS after the Botswana Football Association National Disciplinary Committee (BFA NDC) declared Ofentse Nato a defaulter and docked the team 10 points, effectively ending their hopes of winning the league title.

“The case will run its course,” said BFA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kitso Kemoeng when asked to comment on the Rollers appeal and its implications on the Premier League. On Thursday evening the Premier League Board decided to continue with the league despite the Rollers appeal, saying the Premier League was not cited in the appeal. Popa has launched an appeal against the decision to dock them 10 points after they were adjudged to have used a defaulter in some of their league games. The decision nullified any prospects of the Gaborone giants winning the league championship. Before they were docked 10 points, Rollers were leading the log with 67 points, but have since dropped to position three with 57 points.

The Premier League board’s decision was on Friday endorsed by the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC), which resolved to continue with the league. BFA CEO, Kemoeng said the decision to continue with the league was reached in agreement with the NEC, BPL and the sponsor.

“The NEC has been in dialogue with other stakeholders over the issue and a common decision was reached that the league should continue until the end,” he said.

The decision to continue with the league was also communicated to the league sponsor, beMOBILE.  BTCL Communications Manager, Tiro Kganela said the decision was reached after “a routine meeting between beMOBILE and the BFA authority in the spirit of partnership.”

The league has continuously ended in controversy over the past three seasons. In the 2013/2014 season log leaders BDF XI were docked six points after taking football to court contesting the postponement of their league game against Centre Chiefs. This was after the organizers of the international friendly between Kaiser Chiefs and Mochudi Centre Chiefs lobbied for the fixture to be postponed to pave way for the friendly match. During the 2014/15 season the league attracted more controversy after Sankoyo Bush Bucks were docked 29 points for using Moses Rozivo, who was deemed a defaulter. The decision was later reversed by the BFA. In the current 2015/16 season, Township Rollers have lost 10 points for using Ofentse Nato. Football followers will have to wait and see what will happen if the Rollers’ appeal succeeds. 

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Sunday Standard November 29 – 5 December

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of November 29 - 5 December, 2020.