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Rollers foreign trio goes home

BOITUMELO KHUTSAFALO
Free at last: Afriyie's 'painful' stay has ended PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Three foreign players who have been plying their trade at Township Rollers last season will finally return to their home countries after undergoing the coronavirus (COVID-19) tests.

The trio, Kamogelo Matsabu, Mongba Fabien and Francis Afriyie, has been stranded in Botswana since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, restricting travel across the countries.

Fabien and Afriyie will not be returning to Botswana after their contracts expired with the BTC Premiership runners up.

Matsabu, however, is expected to return the moment Rollers gather for pre-season camp since his contract with the club is still running.

He has only been assisted to be with his family as uncertainty continues over when the next season will commence.

Matsabu was arguably Rollers’ best performer last season after being converted to a right back position.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport on Wednesday, Footballers Union of Botswana secretary, Kgosana Masaseng confirmed the departure of the three players.

He explained that they have been assisted through a request from both the players and Rollers.

“At FUB, our duty was to facilitate their return to their home countries because as you are aware, there has been some movement restrictions because of the pandemic,” Masaseng said.

“Afriyie was released by Rollers in March, but just when he was trying to prepare to return to Ghana, a national lockdown was imposed.”

The Ghanaian striker’s short stay at Rollers follows his fallout with the club’s technical team.

After spending most of his stay on the sidelines at Rollers, the player’s frustrations reached a boiling point when he stormed off the pitch in protest during his club’s match

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against Prisons XI.

He left the technical bench after realising that he would not play a part in the game when a third substitution was made by the then coach, Frank Nuttall. The club subsequently suspended him for his behaviour. 

Masaseng said the facilitation of the players’ return to their countries was done in collaboration with their former club.

“The players and Rollers made a request to us so that we could assist. We managed to facilitate for their COVID-19 tests and clearance letters from the Ministry of Health [and Wellness] so that they can be able to travel,” he said.

“As I speak to you, there is only one letter for one player remaining and we are expecting it to arrive today (Wednesday). Once that is done, then they will board Ethiopian Airways en route to their home countries.”

Masaseng said they have only managed to assist the trio because of their request, but added that they were waiting to assist Extension Gunners player, Nassir Mbabali.

He said the facilitation of his return to Uganda has been delayed by the fact that the entire Extension Gunners executive committee has been on quarantine.

Mbabali made headlines a few months ago when it was reported he had had been thrown out of his rented house in Lobatse. The player was facing financial struggles as the club failed to pay his wages.



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