The Week 11 of the BTC premiership was marred by controversies following the cancellation of a match and the indefinite postponement of another.
The Jwaneng Galaxy/Tafic match which was scheduled for Obed Chilume Stadium was called off after it was determined that the stadium was not available for use by the two teams on Wednesday.
According to the available information, the facility was long booked by the Special Olympics team who were using the stadium for the whole week.
Though the issue was to be solved some days before the kick-off day – it wasn’t the case as both teams arrived to an empty dark stadium of Wednesday night. However, though it is reported that the Premier League office made an effort to avert the situation, sources claim that from the beginning there was no booking for the stadium.
According to Tafic chairman Carlos Sebina; they are not to blame for the circus.
“The procedure for booking playing facilities is different from those of those of First Division. Here In Premier league it is the BPL which is responsible for securing the venue then as club we will then pay the stadium afterwards. But it seems like it wasn’t the case here,” said Sebina, quashing claims that the club was playing some tricks to bring the game into disrepute since their players were not available for the match in some good numbers.
“There is nothing like that. All our players were available including coaches and the squad has been training the whole week,” he added.
Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake was fuming with anger.
“A week ago we received a memo from the Premier league informing us about the revision of the fixtures, more especially about this particular matches with Tafic, Security Systems and Township Rollers in the next weeks. When we arrived at the stadium there was no pre-match conference and later we were told that the stadium was not booked. This did cost us financially because when you add money for accommodation plus meals you are talking thousands. We haven’t done the calculations yet but we did lose a lot. Even psychologically we lost because some of our young players who been failing to get game time were picked on the day but since the match was called-off they lost a chance to play,” he said.
According to Morake, they are going to lodge a complaint with the Premier l league office concerning the unfortunate incident.
“Football is a business so the money we spent going there for nothing could have been invested into something else here but we lost it altogether. We are just waiting for the BPL to give us some correspondence to inform us on what really transpired, from there we will write a complaint letter to the relevant people,” said Morake.
Following the incident Botswana Football Association (BFA) has since rendered an apology to the football fraternity. “The Botswana Football Association wishes to sincerely apologize to football lovers, sponsors and football fraternity at large for the confusion that ensued at the Obed Chilume stadium leading to the scheduled game between Jwaneng Galaxy and Tafic SC being cancelled. We are currently investigating what exactly happened and deeply regret that this occurred. We wish to assure the public that this unfortunate incident will not occur again in the future,” reads the apology.
Meanwhile another premier league match which was scheduled to be played on Thursday by Township Rollers and BDF VI has been postponed to December 21. Both Rollers and BDF XI were heavily involved in the Mascom Top 8 last weekend however it is BDF XI which were affected more since they played their fixture against Police XI on Monday night.