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Mascom Top 8 in limbo

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Kgatleng  giants  Mochudi  Centre  Chiefs  have this week  lodged a protest  against bitter  rivals, Township Rollers  over  Ofentse Nato, who they say was used as a defaulter  during their  Mascom Top  8 semi-final game last  week.

The case is expected to be heard before the Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee DC) tomorrow (Thursday). Following a 3-1  drubbing  at  the  hands  of Rollers  in  the lucrative 2015/16 Mascom Top  8 first  leg  semi-final  at  the Francistown  Sports Complex, Magosi moved quickly  to lodge a complaint with the BPL accusing  their  rivals  of using a defaulter.

Nato  was  recently   signed  by  Rollers  from India’s Atletico de Kolkata during  the  last  transfer  window. In an  interview  this  week, Magosi  spokesperson  Clifford  Mogomotsi  confirmed that  they  have  made  an  official  appeal  with  the BPL over  Nato’s  status.

“The rules (BFA Play rules and regulations) are very clear,” Mogomosti said. According to  regulation 6.4, any team  that  fields a defaulter  during a knockout competition or play  off, shall  be  deemed  to  have  lost  the  game in question.

The regulations  go  on  to  state  that a protest  or  information  about  the  use  of  the  defaulter  should be brought to the attention  of  the Disciplinary Committee within 30  days  of  the said  game. The  regulation  further  states that  the  team  that fields a defaulter  shall  be liable  to  fines  between P1000 and  P2000.

Contacted for comment this week, the BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennet Mamelodi confirmed the appeal. “Chiefs  are  saying  that  I did  not register Nato properly but  that  is all  I  can  say  because  the  case  is  before  the BPL Disciplinary  Committee (DC).”

For  his  part, Mascom Top 8 Local Organising Committee (LOC)  chairperson  Bickie   Mbege  said  they  have  not  received  any  protest  from Chiefs, adding  that  there was tension  from  their (Chiefs) part  after  the Friday game.

This  week, the Rollers  spokesperson  Phempherethe  Pheto  said they were aware  of the  protest but  they  have  not received  any  official  correspondence  regarding  the  matter.

Meanwhile  another  beMOBILE premiership  team  Gilport Lions  has  also  lodged  a protest  against Nato  who  played against  them  in a recent league  encounter.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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