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BPL powerless over Galaxy case

Publishing Date : 22 July, 2019


The Disciplinary Committee (DC) of the Botswana Premier League (BPL) has failed to provide a reasonable kind of relief for Jwaneng Galaxy Football Club who had wanted Township Rollers to be awarded soft points against Miscellaneous S.C.

Galaxy who finished the league on position two and also two points behind champions Rollers are aggrieved by the football associations’ decision to agree to reverse of fixtures that would later trigger undesirable pandemonium before the season ended. On the 7th of May, Galaxy launched a protest against a decision taken to order a re fixture of the Miscellaneous and Rollers game. Galaxy were leading the role more especially that they stood a chance of winning the league for the first time.  It is in record that, should Galaxy succeed, they will play a deciding game with Rollers.

It is understood that the said re fixture had been ordered  via a letter dated  29th April 2019 in a communiqué  authored by the chief executive officer of the football association. It is clear that the re-fixture was ordered by BFA NEC and all parties in this dispute are in agreement that this was the position.

However, the DC noted that Galaxy’s protest did not elicit any response and it is why on 31st of May the Jwaneng based outfit authored another letter seeking an update on the matter. DC also states that, at that stage, the matter had not been brought to their attention.
This explains why on June 4th, the BPL prosecutor wrote to the Galaxy effectively stating that as a lower structure, they could not deal with the matter.

This response did not sit well with Galaxy and the team did not waste time in writing another letter seeking audience with BPL DC. In their eyes, they felt the dilly dallying by BFA benefitted nobody else but Rollers. Galaxy were content that various provisions of the BFA constitution had been broken by NEC to order a re- fixture. Therefore, the club prayed that the committee set aside the decision and order that the Rollers be given soft points. Galaxy argued this at length because Miscellaneous had failed to honour a game that was properly fixtured by the BPL.

In trying to understand their case, BPL DC perused the BFA constitution and study article 12.53.1. The said article provides that all matters of football shall vest in the premier league board.  To further asses the matter, the DC evoked article which provides that the BPL board shall, through set structures, resolve disputes between clubs, players, officials and members.

An argument later emerged that there was nowhere in the constitution that give BFA NEC entitlement to intervene in matters specifically reserved for the board. That is why another argument stood out that NEC in so intervening violated the provisions of the constitution.
However, a dead end was reached upon realization that Galaxy failed beyond doubt to prove that BPL DC was the appropriate structure that could deal with the matter.

“After the concession by the complainant that there is no jurisdiction there was a request that we still make a determination on the propriety of the decision taken by NEC. In our view that will amount to second guessing of the NEC. In any event, we cannot make a finding that we have no power to deal with matter and then on the other hand express an opinion on the legality of the said decision. That, with great respect will be contradictory in terms,” the DC said.

Galaxy was preparing to write to world football governing body FIFA, to request audience on the matter. It is said they have a winnable case in their hands but BFA President Mac Lean Letshwiti has since negotiated with them to drop the matter in the best interest of football.