Fighters’ failure blamed on protests

Mountains on the way: Protests proved to be the proverbial sucker punch for fighters
Mountains on the way: Protests proved to be the proverbial sucker punch for fighters

The First Division South League committee chairperson, Sam Keitireng has blamed numerous protests, which marred the just ended season for Mogoditshane Fighters’ failure to win promotion to the Premier League.

Keitireng said if it had not been for three protests that delayed the conclusion of the league, Fighters would have gained promotion. Fighters lost 3-2 on aggregate to eventual winners, Green Lovers in two-legged promotion play-off.

He said Fighters had ended the season on a high note and could have carried the momentum to the promotion play-off, but protests affected their rhythm.

Meanwhile, the First Division South will hold its annual general assembly at Lekidi Centre on Sunday after delays due to club protests.  The assembly was supposed to be held before May 31, but had to be postponed due to unresolved protests.  The meeting will review the past season and map the way forward.

Keitireng said three protests had led to the delay as they were supposed to be dealt with before the assembly could be held.

He said the cases mostly involved Gantsi Terrors due to their failure to honor fixtures.

“The assembly will discuss how the season went, the lessons learnt and map the way forward before the season starts.

“The chairperson and treasurer are going to make presentations and give clubs an opportunity to make their comments,” he said.

He revealed that Killer Giants and Prisons XI are expected to play on Saturday because they both benefited from soft points docked from Terrors to decide who relegates.

He added that the two sides have been informed about the fixture.

Keitireng said they have realised that clubs lack understanding of rules and regulations of the game.

He added that football must be played on the pitch and not boardroom as has been the case in the just ended season.

On their sponsorship deal with mining giant, Debswana, Keitireng said the Botswana Football Association (BFA) is handling the matter. 

“The BFA is always at the forefront of sponsorship negotiations and they can take us on board if the need arises.

“Our mandate as the committee is to deliver a quality product (football) that will impress the sponsor.

“On the other hand, football is expensive, no matter how much money you get,” argued Keitireng. He said the Debswana sponsorship assisted clubs a lot and has improved the quality of the game. Keitireng admitted they did not do enough to give the sponsor mileage through branding during matches. He said the bulk of the funds went towards purchasing playing kits.

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