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Rollers, the biggest loser!

SHARE   |   Monday, 29 January 2018   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang
Rollers, the biggest loser!

After being slapped with suspension from all Botswana Football Association (BFA) activities Joel Mogorosi and Mthokozisi Msomi may face further disciplinary action from their club Township Rollers. The teams’ spokesperson Bafana Pheto said the club management has been angered by the players’ behavior and will take punitive actions against them. “We are not happy at all at what happened. We had a meeting with the players to tell them this. They are senior players so they are the ones who should be guiding the youngsters and not leading them on such things,” he said. Pheto, however, said they will be waiting on the outcome of the BPL hearing before they could take action against the players. Even though Rollers management is not happy with what their players did at the game, Pheto said the time has come for match officials also to be looked at with a keen eye. He said if the referee could have done his job of making sure that the red cared players went out of the field the fracas could not have taken place. He is of a view that the referee failed to make sure the player goes out immediately as a result failing to do his work. The incident has left Township Rollers Football Club reeling with uncertainty after losing its two top strikers. Mogorosi and Msomi will not be available for selection for Rollers pending a disciplinary hearing. Pheto admitted that the two players’ suspension has come as a blow to the team. He said their unavailability will greatly affect the team. Rollers are currently facing very important matches that include the Mascom Top 8 Semi-finals, CAF and the league. The team has set a target to win all the local trophies this year and the recent development will have a great impact on this. “These two are our only top strikers so obviously their suspension is going to affect us,” said Pheto. He said they are now working on a plan on who to use going forward. It is going to be a difficult time for Nikola Kavazovic to determine who will lead the team upfront. The coach has been using Msomi upfront alone in the absence of Mogorosi who was on injury.

Now that both players are out it promises a tricky situation. What makes matters worse is that the team has ruled out signing any new player this season. However some people believe that Lemponye Tshireletso could step up to take the striking role as his scoring abilities have been proven in the past. However, Pheto said they are hoping that the matter be resolved very quickly so that they can map the way forward. The BPL however did not indicate how soon the matter will be resolved. Pheto said according to the Play Rules and Regulation a team that handles the hearing should be assembled within 10days. “We are hopeful that this will not take too long to be resolved as it touches on the livelihood of the players also,” said Pheto. Suspended with Mogorosi and Msomi are Tafic Fc Coach Rapelang Tsatsilebe and player Samuel Phiri. Tafic are also reported to have moved swiftly to suspend Phiri pending the disciplinary hearing at club level. The BPL suspension comes after preliminary reports have shown that the four were involved in a conduct that constitutes violence and misconduct. Their suspension from BFA activities was invoked in terms with article 12.1 of the BFA Play Rules and regulations of 2017. According to this article, any player or official that is reported to have been involved in any form of violence shall be automatically suspended form all BFA activity forthwith pending disciplinary hearing. The BPL condemned strongly what transpired at the Rollers/Tafic game, saying it has a potential of damaging the good name of Botswana football. BPL officials said they will stop at nothing to make sure that perpetrators are brought to book. During the said match that was played at the University of Botswana Stadium, chaos broke out after Tafic player Samuel Phiri was red carded following a harsh tackle he made on a Rollers player. The incident resulted in a tiff between him (Phiri) and Edwin Moalosi with Phiri slapping the latter. His teammates reacted angrily with a fight breaking on the pitch and ending with marching orders for Rollers Mogorosi and Msomi. Also at the receiving end were Tafic’s Raizor Tsatsilebe and Wrist Musi.

BPL CEO Thabo Ntshinogang labeled it an ugly incident that is totally not condoned in local football. Ntshinogang said they are taking the matter before the BPL prosecutors to investigate it further and bring to book all those who will be found guilty. BPL has apologised to its stakeholders for the unfortunate incident of violence, emphasising that it does not condone any act of violence and hooliganism at its events. “As the custodians of elite football in the country, the BPL deeply regrets the incident that if left unaddressed has the potential to damage the good name of Botswana football and give an impression that the local elite league is free for all where players, officials and spectators alike can do as they please,” read the statement. The BPL assured all football stakeholders of its commitment to law and order at all its activities and that efforts continue to be made to make the BPL product exciting and attractive to football lovers. To make sure that will be no reoccurrences of such incidents Ntshinogang said they will use the BFA Play Rules and Regulations and such other statues to bring perpetrators to book. “BPL has always regarded and continues to regard football as a sport that is governed by rules and regulations which should be conformed to as well as uphold the value of Fair Play as espoused by the world mother body FIFA,” he said. Ntshinogang reassured stakeholders that they will make sure the ugly incident does not happen again. He trusts that this isolated incident will not deter football lovers from going to the matches.