The postponement of the Orange FA Cup final between Township Rollers and Orapa United has presented a dilemma to the teams, as some of the players will be out of contract when the match is played on June 16, 2019.
The final was initially set for May 31, but was rescheduled due to Zebras’ COSAFA Cup engagements. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) regions coordinator, Setete Phuthego told journalists in Gaborone yesterday that the final has been moved to June 16, but still at the Francistown Sports Complex.
The move is meant to give the Zebras ample time to prepare ahead of their June 2, COSAFA Cup clash against Bafana Bafana in Durban.
The Zebras camp will take away 10 players and officials from both sides, including Orapa United’s coach Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote and physical trainer, Chyna Mokaila of Rollers.
“This is a decision that was made with involvement of all stakeholders. We decided to give the national team all the priority, we have the COSAFA Cup and we will play South Africa on June 2. So if the final were to be played on May 31 the players would not have had enough time to rest. So in this case, the national team was given all the priority,” he said. However, the decision has put the clubs in a corner as Rollers’ public relations officer, Bafana Pheto told this publication yesterday that four key players and the head coach Rodolfo Zapata will be out of contract
“Yes indeed Zapata’s contract ends on May 31 with four key players. We have started talking to the coach to see if he can lead us in the final.
But with the players it is different, they do not have the same provision as the coach. They might as well leave as soon as their contracts end. It is a very difficult situation, as the club we will not be seen like we are complaining but we are going to lose some money here in trying to keep the whole set up intact, we are going to count costs,” Pheto said.
Phuthego had, during the press briefing, said the organisers do not foresee any sort of problems prior to the final, as the clubs are well aware of the reasons behind the postponement.
“Players’ contracts should be done in line with the transfer window, so that contracts can start and finish within the window. We have engaged the teams in the decision-making and they agreed. The NEC (BFA national executive committee) can extend the season beyond the set dates if the reasons are beyond control. So the NEC is aware of the reasons at hand here, hence permitted the extension,” he said.