PALAPYE: Premier League clubs have blamed red tape for the escalating number of cases involving teams using defaulters.
This season, the Botswana Premier League (BPL) disciplinary committee has had to deal with a number of cases resulting in teams losing points.
Sankoyo Bush Bucks were recently docked three points and two goals after FC Satmos won their appeal over the improper use of marksman, Morris Ruzivo.
In February this year, Sankoyo lost three more points and two more goals, which were awarded to Motlakase Power Dynamos of Palapye over the use of Zimbabwean national, Shelton Sibanda.
Chouka had protested that due processes were not followed when Sibanda was registered and therefore he was a defaulter.
Mahalapye-based BR Highlanders also lodged a protest against Extension Gunners over the use of Michael Pillar whom they believed was a defaulter when the two teams met.
Bottom placed Letlapeng also protested against the use of Ruzivo by Sankoyo.
Teams believe if the immigration department expedites its processes, protests would be reduced.
BR Highlanders spokesperson, Jacob Monyeki told Mmegi Sport that delays at the Department of Immigration contributed a lot to the increase of cases.
He complained the immigration processes take long to complete.
“I blame immigration for this season‘s endless protests. Their process takes a very long time.
“Right now we have a Zimbabwean player Tafadzwa Mangiri who has not played even a single game since he came here in January.
“The player is training and we pay him every month, yet we are not using him because of the delays in finalising his documents at immigration,” Monyeki complained.
“Even though we chose to do the right thing by not using him before he got his work permit, some teams can get tempted because they are watching these players everyday at training and their input is really crucial in games.
“Right now, we really need Mangiri’s input because he helped us much in the first round. He had two match winning goals and several assists,” said Monyeki.
He called for the intervention of the Botswana Football Association (BFA) in the matter.
He suggested teams should submit players’ papers to the BFA and the mother body should then forward them to immigration for processing.
Motlakase Power Dynamos spokesperson, Monty Gagomokgwa also shared the similar sentiment. He said it takes too long for foreign players to get permits.
“BFA should really do something about this issue. There are certain teams that are given first priority at immigration offices. They never experience delays.
“But as for others, especially the small teams, the process will take a very long time. That is really worrisome. I think our motherbody and the Ministry of Labour should work together to solve this issue,” said Gagomokgwa.
However, Gagomokgwa did not spare teams who break rules by using defaulters. He said rules must be followed to avoid protests.
Orapa United spokesperson, Tebatso Hule however said their team has never experienced problems at the Department of Immigration.
“We have not necessarily had any major problems save for normal delays that are associated with requests for permits.
“Other than that, we try to submit documents on time to enable the processes to happen as planned,” he said.
Sankoyo Bush Bucks, which has been the biggest loser with six points deducted, believe the immigration time frame is reasonable.
However, team manager, Odirile Sibanda said he was unaware of any special provisions to help clubs when they apply for permits.
The BPL chief executive officer, Bennett Mamelodi advised teams to approach his office if they encounter problems rather than act against the law.