The concept of natural justice counts for all and that includes Township Rollers. They deserve to be punished for using a defaulter like any other team. That is just like Sankoyo Bush Bucks last year. The level of punishment should be equal to preceding judgements for the same offence. Any deviation becomes suspicious. But more importantly once the team refuses to accept imposed punishment if it only fair that on appealing the punishment it should be granted stay of execution. That is all its rights and privileges must be protected until a final confirmation of punishment by a superior court or jurisdiction. As it is the league – Botswana Premier League – should stay adjourned until such time that a final pronouncement on their appeal is made by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). I take it that the court has provisions for urgent applications.
Rollers’ matter qualifies to be urgent, looking at what is currently at stake. Any attempt by the BPL and its interim leadership to arrogantly proceed with the league will have dare consequences were Rollers to later win this case. Going ahead with the league worsens the already serious chaos the league faces. The current situation warrants level heads and calmness instead a belief by others than this presents them with a great opportunity to win a league they never worked hard for. Decisions made by the BPL board by officials who belong to other teams are always bound to be biased and hence the intervention of CAS as an independent body is more than welcome. Whatever ruling they make is bound to be respected, not only because it is expert body on resolving sport matters but it more importantly doesn’t have anything to benefit from Rollers’ demise. Again with FIFA barring football teams from taking matters to courts of law, this is the only option available. It will be unfair to Rollers for the league to continue. Any champion claiming honour out of this debacle will be abusing the system.
They ought to wait until all is resolved. This will save all the humiliation and embarrassment. If needs be the sponsor beMOBILE should step in and make its position known. It should, as expected, side with the necessary due process. It is better to delay the process than to have wrong teams crowned and given what is not duly theirs. Reversing that will not be easy and is bound to compound the crisis even further. I know that teams have had deadlines and expectations of when they will get their dues to pay their players, with most having long outstanding commitments to players, coaches and lenders alike. However, as things stand it is better they endue current inconveniences than to land soccer into further complications and chaos. Simply put – Rollers have a point and deserve a stay of execution while they fight for their rights. Self-interest should be put aside and all should pray and hope that the CAS will speedily make a pronouncement of its verdict.