10 September 2017

Botswana: Northern League Commencement in Limbo

Francistown — The Debswana First Division North (FDN) League, which was scheduled to commence this weekend has been suspended pending a fresh appeal by Chobe United

After their previous protest was overruled by both the FDN committee and its disciplinary committee, Chobe United launched an appeal arguing that they were not treated fairly in being allowed to play a game against Great North Tigers (GNT) at play-offs while their second round game in April at Pilikwe against Morupule Wanderers was never completed.

At their controversial game against GNT, the Chobe side lost the encounter 2-1 to relegate to the lower division.

The Kasane -based outfit's argument is that the GNT game should never have been played hence their fresh complaint, which saw the league commencement ordered to stop.

In an interview with BOPA, the secretary general of the FDN league committee, Rapula Gaothobogwe relayed in an interview that Chobe United's main protest was not the GNT game but the Morupule Wanderers game, which they argued was never addressed.

"Launching their protest over the matter, the league committee over-ruled their protests, so was the disciplinary committee, hence they approached the BFA Disciplinary Committee and we had no choice but to suspend the league commencement until the matter has been solved," he noted. He noted that the league had been scheduled to kick-off on September 9 as agreed by all stakeholders with a launch slated for Selebi Phikwe.

A double header for the launch had been arranged between Nico United and BR Highlanders and Real Movers facing it off with Ecco City Greens.

The chairperson of Chobe United, Bogosing Bogosing stated that they have never been treated fairly by the league committee ever since lodging a complaint concerning their incomplete game against Morupule Wanderers in Pilikwe. Relaying the events of the matter, Bogosing narrated that the Wanderers game was stopped by a referee's decision on the 66th minute after three of his players received red cards on the game.

These included a goalkeeper and had to sacrifice one player to hold the goalkeeping area until the game was stopped because their numbers were way too low to constitute fair play.

Their assumptions, he said was that the game would be rescheduled but it never happened and were only surprised to learn that the league committee had already taken a decision to adjust league points despite their game having not ended.

Further, he said they were surprised to learn two days before that they would be playing GNT while most teams were on pre-season breaks and also the referees for the games surprised them as all of them were from Francistown, which they felt was unusual.

"Our case is simply that we should not have played against GNT while our issue concerning the Wanderers game was still pending. We had to appeal and the league had to be suspended indefinitely.

We will do everything in our power to get justice and we are even ready to take this matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sports," he said .

Source : BOPA

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