Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) continues to crack down the whip on those putting the name of football into disrepute. The DC has been busy listening different cases where culprits contravened Botswana Football Association Play Rules and Regulations. This week the DC found Gilport Lions guilty of the single charge of misconduct which was laid against the team. When passing the judgment the DC found Gilport guilty as charged and fined the team to pay P5000. The team was instructed to pay the amount within 14 days and cautioned against any future contravention of the Play Rules and regulations. The charges which were laid against Gilport followed a premier league game between Gilport and Jwaneng Galaxy in Jwaneng on the 2nd December 2017. It was alleged that Gilport fielded only eight players at the start of the game which could not play to completion due to the withdrawal of Gilport’s two players due to injury. The team was therefore charged with misconduct of bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to Article 25.6.
Even though Gilport officials did not plead guilty as charged the team was nonetheless found to be at fault by the DC. Gilport officials argued that they cannot be guilty as the BFA Play Rules as well as FIFA statutes allows for a team to field at least seven players. They, however, during their submissions held the view that the situation was not ideal. The DC has further ordered the BPL secretariat to re-fixture the game between Gilport and Galaxy. This has been a sigh of relieve from Gilport which is battling relegation as they will have a chance to salvage three points in the fight to move out of the relegation zone. Meanwhile Kagiso Tshelametsi was slapped with a three-match suspension and a P5000 fine for two counts of misconduct. Tshelametsi was charged with use of abusive language against match officials. During Mascom Top 8 game between Security systems and Orapa United at Itekeng Stadium Tshelametsi was alleged to have used abusive and insulting language against match officials which resulted to him sent out of the technical area. Because of the utterance he made he was charged with misbehavior of bringing the game of football into disrepute contrary to article 25.6 of the Play Rules and regulations.
Tshelametsi, however, did not plead guilty to the charges which were laid against him. Nonetheless after consideration of the evidence presented the DC reached the conclusion that indeed there was clear evidence that the words which were uttered had an element of insulting and bringing the game of football into disrepute. In addition to the P5000 fine and three games suspension, Tshelametsi has been warned as to his future conduct. Awaiting their verdict from the DC is the duo Tafic’s duo of Coach Raizor Tsatsilebe and Samuel Phiri who are also charged with misconduct.
The DC judgments have acclaimed by the footballing community who feel they will go a long way in addressing the behaviour of players and officials in the field of play. Misconduct has been on the rise in local football and it is believed that steeper judgments would help bring them to an end.