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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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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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