Mmegi Online :: A slap in the face for football
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Last Updated
Friday 23 February 2018, 16:09 pm.
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A slap in the face for football

It was the night after the famous WWE’s Monday Night Raw. The hallmarks of a wrestling match were scattered all over. The sliding tackles, the flying kicks, and to top it all, a full bloodied slap, and that slow motion bow from the battered opponent. However, this was not wrestling, but a page plucked from a rare, sad chapter for local football, writes MQONDISI DUBE
By Mqondisi Dube Fri 26 Jan 2018, 17:52 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: A slap in the face for football








Botswana football fans were transported on a journey they rarely travel, with gruesome sights, but occurring right in their backyard.

The UB Stadium was the venue for Tuesday night’s shameful scenes, which left an indelible black mark on local football. It was an unpleasant sight.

Township Rollers and TAFIC connived to dish the opposite of the beautiful game with ugly scenes, which were shared with the rest of the world from Wednesday morning onwards.

Just a day after the Botswana Football Association (BFA)  and Botswana Premier  League (BPL) addressed a progressive press conference, Rollers and TAFIC swiftly took football several steps back.

Officials from Spain’s La Liga and former Juventus and Netherlands star, Edgar Davids were in town on Monday, but thankfully, had flown out just in time to avoid the Tuesday night raw.

A game that is yearning for beneficial financial partnerships, improved crowds at the stadia, and a more cleaner image, found itself, instead, at the receiving end of an image changing slap on the face.

Samuel Phiri, was the key architect of a not-so-well orchestrated drama, which however, had devastating effects.

Phiri delivered a slap from the top drawer, which would have left slapping contestants drooling.

The recipient, Edwin Moalosi, was left halfway down, holding his knees. It was a slap, which nearly felled not only Moalosi, but the image of local football.

While the image of football

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was recovering from the clap, seconds later, the dent was even bigger. Township Rollers players, led by, amongst others, Joel Mogorosi and Mthokosi Msomi, made an unrelenting, full charge at Phiri, who at that stage had bullied his opponents on the field off play.

That slap had already done enough damage to local football, but it was about to get worse. Kicks flew, angry words were exchanged as Rollers and TAFIC players’ anger snowballed into one fiery piece, and when the noise died down, the image of Botswana football was never the same. There was a mangled heap and the perpetrators had been ruthless.

They stomped, kicked and spat on the image with reckless abandon. It was a festival of violence.

The morning after, however, there were long faces and regrets all over. BPL and BFA officials quickly sifted through the wreckage, and the main actors in the brawl, TAFIC coach, Rapelang ‘Razor’ Tsatsilebe, his defender, Phiri, Mogorosi and Msomiwere immediately suspended.

Their respective clubs came out to condemn the actions and a heavy sentence lies ahead. But in the meantime, football is writhing in agony, try to recover from a slap that has deformed its image. 

“It was very ugly and totally unacceptable. Those who are at wrong, should immediately be brought before our judicial structures to account,” BPL CEO, Thabo Ntshinogang said.

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