• Not guilty of using suspended player
• This was an unnecessary distraction – Cliff
BeMOBILE Premier League log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs this week had a sigh of relieve following a verdict from Botswana Premier League Disciplinary Committee dismissing a protest logged against them by Letlapeng FC. The protest threatened the Kgatleng outfit’s top standing on the log table since if they were bound to lose six points if they were found guilty.
Letlapeng FC had registered a protest against Centre Chiefs alleging that the Chiefs fielded Pontsho Moloi while he was supposed to have been on suspension after accumulating three yellow cards during the game between the two sides recently. However this week the Disciplinary Committee dismissed the matter, clearing Chiefs of any wrong doing. Reports say the protest was dismissed on the ground that when Moloi played against Letlapeng FC he had only two yellow cards.
According to Centre Chiefs vice chairman Clifford Mogomotsi, the protest gave the team a fright. Last season BDF XI suffered the same fate which cost them the title. The army team had six points docked which saw them finishing second in the league. Mogomotsi said in an interview that the matter nearly derailed their focus on the title.
“That was an unnecessary distraction to us. We nearly lost focus since we had to spend more time on the matter than on the game,” he said. He said he appreciates the outcome of the matter since now they can direct the focus back on winning the league. Mogomotsi is adamant that Centre Chiefs will win the league with ease.
He pointed out that it is not the first the time that Chiefs came from behind to win the league. According to him, they have experience on what it takes to guard the lead and eventually win. “We have good players and a majority of them have been with the team. They have the experience and knowhow of protecting the lead. The league is ours to take,” acclaimed Mogomotsi. Even though he is immovable about winning the league Mogomotsi urged all Centre Chiefs players, management and supporters not to lose focus until the fat lady sings at the end.
Apart from the protest dismissal, Centre Chiefs also seem to be given a lifeline by the inconsistent performance of fierce league contenders Township Rollers. The defending champions have been displaying a rather disappointing performance by losing four of their last games. On the other hand, Chiefs are working hard to capitalise on the misfortunes of Rollers as they collected 13 points from a possible 15 of their last five games.
Mogomotsi said the fact that beMOBILE Premier league is the only cup left that they can win this year means that have to work very hard to protect the only silverware they have in sight. Playing in the Confederation of African Football championships next season is also seen as a motivating factor for the Kgatleng side to clinch the cup.
“This is the only year that we have not participated in CAF and we want to be part of the championship next year. The tournament gives players opportunity to square up with the continent’s best players to acquire experience,” said Mogomotsi.
With only eight games left Chiefs are at the top of the log with 50 points, six points ahead of Orapa based Orapa United who are on 44 points. Morale is said to high flying in the Chiefs camp and the coach has all the full squad to choose from in their battle for the championship.
It is too early to tell, however, who will emerge victorious since there are still a number of games left. Both Chiefs and Rollers have some testing matches ahead that would prove rather difficult for them. The two teams will have to go through the forth placed Gaborone United towards the title.
The other obstacle would be the on form Orapa United who are proving to be a force to reckon with this year.