Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions Township Rollers say they are ready to compete in the Africa champions league and will not be fazed by the Ebola outbreak. Rollers and other African teams that won their domestic leagues last season will be put on a draw next year January ahead of the Africa Champions League.
For Rollers, the challenge will not only be in conquering Africa but also in avoiding the deadly Ebola. With a death toll of over 6000, Ebola has hit Africa hard and disrupted African football activities. However Township Rollers Chairman Jagdish Shah said they are ready to play in the Champions League and dismissed any concerns about Ebola, saying CAF will take care of everything. He also revealed that Rollers is currently sorting out the requisite paperwork before submitting the names of its 30 players to CAF on 30 December.
“We can’t be thinking about Ebola right now as we don’t even know who we will be playing against. CAF will take care of the problem as they are already doing for AFCON,” said Shah.
Some of the AFCON 2015 qualifying games were removed from Ebola affected areas while Morocco pulled out of hosting the finals of the continental spectacular next year because of fears of Ebola. Meanwhile, Shah told Gazette Sport that he would be happy if Rollers proceeds to the next stage of the Champions League as that has not been happening for a long time. However, he pleaded with fans not to put the players under unnecessary pressure as they will be competing against the best players in Africa.
“I am just happy that Rollers will get exposure around Africa,” he said.
Reports indicate that Shah wants to scout for more players from around Africa, but his plans have been scuttled by Botswana Football Association (BFA)’s foreign quota which only allows for three foreigners to be registered by each team. Rollers has already filled its foreign quota after signing South African Manqoba Ngwenya, Namibian Jerome Louis and Malawian Lawrence Majawa. Young South African Simon Goldsbrough is still on the sidelines as he could not be signed in the last transfer window.