Cases against Township Rollers in regard to the use of Ofentse Nato continue to flood in. This Thursday the battle between Gilport Lions and Township Rollers finished with the Disciplinary Committee (DC) adjourning judgement. The DC had a panel of five representatives, chaired by Busang Manewe. In this case, Gilport Lions accuse Township Rollers of using Nato, whom they say is a defaulter because he was registered outside the transfer window period and that some of his documents were backdated. They accused Botswana Premier League (BPL) and Township Rollers of fraud. The respondents in the case Township Rollers were represented by Khumoyame Masonya and Sydney Magagane who brought in their member who is a lawyer Kgosietsile Nyakaagae. Gilport Lions were represented by Kelisitse Gilika and Lore Morapedi. The BPL Prosecutor Mike Rasetshwane was also in attendance.
Rollers’ Ngakaagae said that he still can’t see and understand the fraud that Gilport Lions accuse them of. Nyakaagae said that it is very absurd that just because there was a document that dates back then they are called fraudsters because that is always the case in international transfers. He said that there was need for FIFA to make the regulations allowing for such players like Nato because otherwise many players will have to waste a season sometimes just waiting for another transfer window to open up. “FIFA saw the need and that is why an exception was made in regard to the rules and regulations on the transfer of players because we can’t have a one size fits all approach to all players,” he said.
Ngakaagae based his submission on the FIFA Status and Transfer Regulation 6.1 which says that players may be registered during one of the two annual registration periods fixed by relevant associations, but as an exception to this rule a professional whose contract expired prior to the end of the registration period may be registered outside that registration period. It continues on to say that associations are allowed to register such players provided due consideration is given to the sporting integrity of the relevant competition. When clarifying the issue Masonya who deals with the logistics regarding the transfer of players in his team said that as for international players like Nato – an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) is needed before they can do the registration, and they got that which shows that his team Atletico De Kolkata had no issues at all.
He said if there was a team to complain first if things were not done well, that will be Atletico De Kolkota because all the process is done online where everyone can have access and they could have said something about their player. “If FIFA did not approve of the process they would not have issued the licence,” he said. Since FIFA Okayed the process, then there is no body that can oppose that since FIFA is the higher body, they said. Nyakaagae held that is exactly what they did, and that is why there shouldn’t be any problem with their registration. When giving their submissions in regard to the allegation of fraud on their side BPL’S Mike Rasetshwane said that it is important that it is understood that if the Transfer Matching System (TMS) is in order then there is no problem at all because the TMS is transparent to all clubs around the world, and that is the case with Nato. He said it is not like they are supporting the respondents, but the accusations of fraud by Gilport Lions should be rendered null and void.
Gilport Lions’ Morapedi wondered why Rollers didn’t sign Nato during the January transfer window since his contract expired in December with his team. He said that as per the 6. 1 rule the sporting integrity should be taken into consideration, where he believes in Nato’s case it wasn’t. He said that it is very clear that procedure has not been followed by the BPL and as such benefiting Township Rollers, that is why the allegations of fraud.