Record Botswana Premier League (BPL) champions, Township Rollers face an anxious period after the Players Status Committee (PSC) found the club guilty of improper registration of defender, Onkarabile Ratanang.
The Botswana Football Association (BFA) referred the case to the PSC after establishing that the player had been registered on October 29, when the transfer window closed on September 30, 2022. On Monday, sources close to the developments said the PSC had returned a guilty verdict for Rollers.
The matter is now with the mother body’s prosecutor and the Disciplinary Committee for sanction. Rollers now face a massive points deduction unless authorities tamper justice with mercy.
Reports indicate Ratanang could have played up to 16 games for the former champions. There is a possibility Rollers could lose up to 48points if maximum punishment is carried out. The matter, according to sources, will be settled before 20 May. Botswana Football League (BFL) chairperson, Nicholas Zakhem was reluctant to comment on the latest developments.
“Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to share with you their (PSC) finding, though our secretariat is yet to receive their finding,” he said. However, he confirmed that the club will appear before the Disciplinary Committee for misconduct. “According to a resolution adopted by the BFA NEC and according to the misconduct rules of BFL, the club will appear before the DC to answer to allegations raised by BFA,” Zakhem said. There are reports that the Rollers case is not an isolated incident, with a number of players improperly registered under the new registration system, FIFAconnect.
But Zakhem said they do not have official complaints regarding similar cases. “So far no one has raised any complaint of the same sort of issue of fraud involving the BFA registration system,” he said. BFL chief executive officer, Solomon Ramochotlhwane was equally non-committal about the progress in Rollers’ case.
“We have not received anything to the above. I’ll be constrained to comment on what I have not been furnished with. The next step will be determined on any information we receive from the concerned. The issue of registration lies with the Regulator BFA and we are constrained to comment as we have not been appraised of any development,” he said.
The Ratanang saga is likely to put paid to Rollers’ spirited fight for the league title, where they are involved in a two-horse race with Gaborone United. Ratanang’s disputed registration has claimed the scalp of three officials, with former BFA officer, Phuthego Setete banned from the game indefinitely.
Rollers’ Sidney Magagane and team manager, Motshegetsi Mafa were suspended pending the outcome of the matter. The three reportedly had a hand in the illegal registration, with Setete in charge of the process at BFA at the time.