When Football Leaves Pitch to Boardrooms

| June 3, 2015

Football is sometimes a tricky game. It is played both on the field and in boardrooms. When it is played on the field, players have the field to themselves but watch from the sidelines when it is taken to the boardrooms.

Such has been the case in the latest Botswana football saga where Botswana Premier League (BPL) management committee and Sankoyo Bush Bucks were the main contenders.

Batswana and football fans alike watched from the sidelines as the saga unfolded and BOPA was there to capture the best, if not saddest or confusing moments of the game. Suffice to say that at the moment BPL mManagement committee and Sankoyo have played to a one-all draw in a controversial game, which started Friday until Monday.

Friday: The game is on a high tempo. BPL captain, Arnold Semolokae, enjoys ball possession.

He announces on Botswana Television (Btv) that Sankonyo have been docked 29 points for using a Zimbabwean striker, Morris Ruzivo, who was declared a defaulter.

Saturday: The day passes without any major incident. This means the Maun based side remains with only six points resulting in automatic relegation. Social media is abuzz with angry football fans comments.

Sunday: Somolokae’s goal is shortlived as BPL board of governors (BOG) scores an equalising goal. They overrule management committee pronouncement to dock Sankoyo points.

Sensing trouble, Somolokae requests to be substituted and is quoted saying indeed he had resigned but the BOG refuses to endorse his resignation, therefore he still remains the captain.

Monday 9am: BPL management committee meets to review the matter. Everyone is waiting for the outcome with bated breath.

Monday noon: When everybody thought the game was over, BPL management committee scores yet another goal.

They issue a press release: “please be aised that the duly appointed Executive Committee of the BPL met this morning and came to the following conclusions that the decision taken on Friday 29 May 2015 still stands, to refer the matter to the Chief Prosecutor of the BPL for determination, that there are still two matters before the BPL D.C. involving Notwane vs Sankoyo and Letlapeng vs Sankoyo and for avoidance of doubt Notwane F.C and F.C Samos shall not play any play-off in Orapa on Tuesday, June 2”.

Monday 2pm: As referee Tebogo Sebego nullifies the BPL management goal for what constituted an an off-side offence, news come in that BPL CEO Bennett Mamelodi has resigned. Allegations fly in thick and thin that he was not happy that the team (BPL management committee) did not play as per instructions.

However, the game ends in a one-all draw as match referee Tebogo Sebego issues a press release to inform the football fraternity that following successive BPL resolutions arising from a disciplinary decision involving Sankoyo Football Club, the BPL management have resolved to refer the matter to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) national executive committee for intervention and direction.

Meanwhile, the BFA says it is worth noting that BPL is a semi-autonomous structure of the BFA charged with the responsibility of managing and running the Premier league.

It says the BFA National Executive Committee is a superior body that oversees all structures of the association and only intervene when there is a challenge or a substantive need to do so in the interest of the game of football.

Therefore, BFA NEC shall, as a result of this referral, convene an urgent meeting by the end of the week to look into the matter, review the reports filed therein and to map a way forward that shall bring finality to the apparent confusion that surrounds the matter.

“In the meantime, all decisions by the Premier League Committee, in respect of this matter, shall remain inoperative pending the decision by the National Executive Committee”, says the BFA.

The concerned parties were warned to desist from making statements or communications pertaining to the matter since the NEC was dealing with it going forward. Now it remains to be seen what will happen next.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Sports

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