In what started as just as a normal protest by two clubs over the registration of the Botswana national team captain and former Gaborone United prodigy has now spiraled into a national crisis bringing Botswana football into shame,confusion and embarrassment.
Ofnetse Nato joined Township Rollers as free agent following the expiry of his contract with Indian club, Atletico De Kolkata on 2nd February 2016.
His registration was contested by two clubs Gilport Lions and later Mochudi Centre Chiefs who were pursuing his signature and made a protest that Township rollers did not procedurally register the Zebras captain,both succeeded at the Botswana Football Association (BFA) national disciplinary committee (NDC).
An innocent act of a player joining a club for his personal needs and professional growth has had the domino effect of triggering a football power struggle.
The simple matter could have been resolved by the country Football Association but his status has remained an issue before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS). The local structures have been overwhelmed by appeals, rulings and counter-rulings bringing more confusion to the Botswana football.
The latest episode has seen the Botswana National Sport Commission’s (BNSC) involvement in the issue, defying the NDC ruling for a play-off and calling off the game resulting to Botswana Football Federation banning any activity by Botswana Premier League board.
Most football analysts have blamed the upcoming BFA elections as one of the reasons why there seem to be no end to the saga.
League sponsors, beMOBILE has issued threats of pulling out and recently failed to participate in Premier League awards. Up to now, champions are unknown.
The play-off match that was being played on Saturday was called off in 45th minute with Township Rollers leading 1-0 against Mochudi Centre Chiefs.Mochudi fielded only seven players and when two of them were injured the referee had to stop the game.
Reports say that Mochudi Centre Chiefs medics had advised their management that their seven other injured players will only be fit for competitive game by the second week of August.Machoudi Centre Chiefs even wrote a letter to Premier League on the 20th July 2016 requesting for the playoff to be postponed due to only having 7 eligible players
Botswana Football Association then issued a statement to Machoudi Chief informing them of dire consequences if they fail to honor yesterday fixture bringing more confusion to the match which could have decided the league winners.
Hardly passes by without a new episode in the unending comedy of errors and it remains a dream of who will be declared the 2016 Botswana Premier League Champion.