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CAF guns for Rollers, Orapa

Publishing Date : 10 July, 2017


The two shining examples of commercialization and Professionalism in local football, Township Rollers and Orapa United, have attracted the claws of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the legitimacy of licenses they were issued with last year as gate way to continental competitions.

The continental governing body is expected to touch down in Botswana just before the start of the season in August to primarily sniff around and assess the progress made thus far regarding club licensing. On the other hand they will be on a fact finding mission to verify the originality of the documents submitted by the two teams to get licenses and subsequently compete in the Champions League and Confederations Cup respectively.

Information relayed to Weekendsport suggests that contrary to assertions, the two clubs didn’t fulfil necessary requirements to be licensed. According to FIFA Club licensing regulations there are three criteria to fulfil (A, B, C). Criteria A, is a must for a team to be issued with a license and it talks about five key pointers; Sporty, infrastructure, Administrative &personnel, legal and financials.

Chairperson of the First Instance Body Mfolo Mfolo, which is responsible for assessing club documents before license can be issued, confirmed that the two never fulfilled the requirements. “They tried and we assisted them though there was still a lot of work to be done. I think CAF will be considerate because we asked for a waiver.”

He says the two teams mostly failed to comply with Category A requisites which are a necessity for a team to be given a license. “It is public knowledge that our teams are not serious with youth development, audited finances and also administrative and personnel are also a challenge,” he revealed in an interview which sought to understand as to how far the teams are with club licensing. Rollers president Jag Dish Shah has recently labelled club licensing a ‘mirage’ in a semi-professional football set up, like in Botswana.

Rollers media mouthpiece Bafana Pheto told this paper that the team has ticked all the right boxes in order to be given a license. “We complied, the only glitch was youth development but we corrected that by forming a team and re-submitted so far as I’m concerned we did the right things to be issued with a license.”

The same words were echoed by Orapa United Chairperson Kennekae Nkape who said after initially failing they managed to re-submit and BFA issued them with a license. “Initially we failed because our financials were not up to the required standards, again they wanted a signature of a specialized doctor and the qualifications of the doctor who will be assisting the team and we did exactly that hence we got our license,” Nkape said.

CAF nonetheless is not convinced and believes the documents submitted could have been cooked up. This has in turn led CAF as part of assessment for other teams, to verify the two team’s documents  and would practically go around checking if at all what is in the books is what’s on the ground.

Meanwhile the First Instance Body will this weekend be lecturing the four northern teams (Miscellaneous, Orapa, Tafic and Sankoyo Bush Bucks), on club licensing. In the past weeks they drilled the 14 southern teams and expectations are that the teams will begin to forward their documents to the body for assessment. Mfolo is optimistic that this could be achieved drawing inspiration from countries like Malawi which has met the requirements for club licensing. Repercussions for failing the requirements are so severe such that there will not be any elite league and local teams won’t compete in regional and continental competitions.



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