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Tafic Heads To Arbitration Tribunal Over Relegation

CHAKALISA DUBE
TAFIC are not giving up on their appeal to have Botswana Football Association’s decision reversed which saw them relegate to the lower division PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
FRANCISTOWN: TAFIC officials have reportedly resolved to appeal against the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) decision to condemn the club to the First Division.

The matter is before the association’s arbitration tribunal The Monitor Sport has learnt.

The seven member BFA tribunal deals with all internal disputes within the association, its members, players, officials and player agents, apart from issues under the jurisdiction of the Disciplinary Committee or the Ethics Committee. Its decisions are final and binding and can only be appealed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.  TAFIC initially wrote to the BFA National Executive Committee (NEC) demanding that the association reverses its decision (to relegate the team). In their letter to the BFA TAFIC had also pleaded with the BFA NEC to place the matter before the BFA Disciplinary Committee (DC) for a hearing.

However, the BFA NEC recently replied to the team indicating that the decision of the NEC to end the league and ultimately relegating the club was final and binding. In the letter, the BFA also said that the BFA DC was not the right judicial body to hear the matter.

While TAFIC Chairperson, Carlos Sebina said he was not willing to address issues surrounding the relegation of the club through the media, The Monitor Sport  has it on good authority that the club will soon approach the BFA arbitration tribunal to appeal the relegation decision.

“We had thought that writing directly to the BFA NEC was appropriate because the executive is the one that took the decision to relegate us and also wrote to us informing us about its decision. In addition, if the executive committee members felt that the BFA DC is not the right body to hear our case, they could have advised us (after we wrote to them). That would be in terms of whom we should to route our request for a hearing

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to. But they omitted that in their reply. They (NEC) did not advise us on which body to approach because their goal is to discourage us,” said an insider at the club.

Added the insider, “We are still studying the reply letter from BFA NEC but we will definitely launch an appeal with the arbitration tribunal soon. We believe that apart from the DC, the tribunal is the right body to preside over our appeal.” Yesterday BFA Chief Executive Officer Mfolo Mfolo said, “We wrote to TAFIC and Molepolole City Stars early this month stating that the decision of the BFA NEC is final and their objection of the decision (to end the league) has been declined. We also advised them that the BFA DC is not the right body to hear their complaints.”

Mfolo added, “We also informed them to appeal to the right judicial structure within the BFA if they are not happy with the decision to relegate them.” When asked about the appropriate judicial structure that TAFIC or City Stars should appeal to, Mfolo could only say that the two teams knew the structure they were supposed to go to if they felt hard done by by the BFA NEC decision.

It is still unclear if City Stars have also resolved to approach the BFA arbitration tribunal or not.

Two months ago the association took a decision to end the season, arguing that it would be costly for teams to play in line with  COVID-19 guidelines.The decision to end the season abruptly meant TAFIC, Miscellaneous and Molepolole City Stars were relegated. Jwaneng Galaxy were declared champions. TAFIC and City Stars have vowed to strongly fight the decision to send them to the First Division.



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