Anxiety over Play-offs

SHARE   |   Thursday, 09 July 2020   |   By Joseph Kgamanyane
Anxiety over Play-offs

First divisions sides Mogoditshane Fighters and Nico United FC are waiting impatiently for Botswana Football Association (BFA) to make a final decision on the promotional playoffs, after the leagues were premature delcared complete due to the Covid19 pandemic.

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The two Southern and Northern sides are both complaining about delays in finalising the issue and the impact that comes with the suspense especially on their players. After deciding to end the 2019/20 football season as it was BFA said it will form a committee that will deal with the modalities of the promotional play-offs.

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Quizzed about progress on the matter, BFA spokesperson Tumo Mpatane said the National Executive Committee has not yet received the report from the committee tasked to look into the matter. Mpatane could also not say when the report will be ready.

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As a norm the promotional play-offs match would be against Mogoditshane Fighters and Nico United FC who were both positioned second on their respective Southern and Northern National First Division Tournament. There are however uncertainties as to whether that would still be the case or not. A source has explained that the modality of the matter may either be for the play-offs to be played or a decision be made for one of the two teams to also automatically be promoted to premier league joining Masitaoka FC and Sua Flamingoes without necessarily having to play.

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“The modality that will be looked into is to see whether it will or not be safe to go ahead with the play-offs or when would be the right time to play them. The committee is also either going to look as to how the play-offs can be played, the system and the type of play-offs that we can have,” the source explained.  

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Meanwhile both Nico United FC and Mogoditshane Fighters said they are clueless as to what will possibly happen with regard to the play-offs decrying that have not yet heard any voice from either the appointed committee or the BFA.”I recently enquired with our Division Committee and they also indicated that they have not received any information concerning the issue,” Mogoditshane Fighters Manager Charles Mositwane told The Patriot Sport.

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Both teams are left guessing and wishing for BFA to make a final decision on the matter. Mositwane said their position as Mogoditshane Fighters is for the play-offs to at least be played without the presence of spectators in order to help minimise the risks of contracting and spreading corona-virus. Nico United Public Relations Officer, Ntibi Kedikilwe on the other hand hopes that they be automatically promoted to premier league on the basis that they have more points than Fighters. The two clubs said they are however waiting for any decision that will be taken by the association recommended by the appointed committee.

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Their main complaint is that the waiting is affecting the state of their players who have already been demoralised by the decision to end the league when they still believed that they stood chance to have avoided play-offs by fighting for an automatic promotion into the premier league. The league was concluded at a time when Mogoditshane Fighters was only a point behind Masitaoka while Nico was 37 points equal with Sua Flamingoes. Kedikilwe and Mositwane are both concerned about the fitness of their players while still awaiting a final decision about the play-offs. “Players have been demoralised so we do not know whether they will return in good shape because football is not all about training it also involves the mental state,” Mositwane stressed.

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