Motlakase Power Dynamos’ head coach Oris Boyo Radipotsane is a bitter man. While fans were busy celebrating their hard-fought 2-1 victory over Nico United on Saturday, Oris was seething with anger at the way referee Moemedi Tlhabologang and his entourage handled the game.
Incensed by the penalty awarded to United which levelled matters after his side had taken the lead through striker Tumisang Orebonye, and the dismissal of midfielder Gape Mohutsiwa for what looked like dissent by speech, Radipotsane finally cracked during the post-match interview branding Tlhanologang and company as “first division referees” who are not fit to officiate Premier League games.
Speaking in his trademark hoarse voice, Radipotsane lashed at the match officials. “I don’t understand Botswana football, ever since I started these Serowe games I always see ‘these’ referees, you will never see them when Rollers play, it’s as if they are meant for us. You even saw that yourself, this referee failed to handle this game,” he fumed.
Radipotsane accused the referee’s appointment team of “favouritism” saying that they reserve some of their best referees for games involving big teams and officials from the lower league are appointed to the elite league’s strugglers.
Asked what he made of his players’ performance on the day he said: “The boys played until that penalty, everyone saw that was not a penalty but he (referee) just gave it, I don’t even know this referee, we were limited by the referee’s mistakes, we understand that they make mistakes but this is too much.” At the end of the game, the match commissioner Thapelo Disang could not comment on the matter but referred BG Sport to the Refereeing Manager at Lekidi Football Centre Dintwe Dintwe who dismissed Radipotsane’s allegations.
He said they do not harbor any ulterior motive when the appoint referees. “People have to understand that both the Premier League and the National First Division are national leagues and we use the same officials for these leagues. Secondly, everyone must understand that this is not a job done by an individual, we have a committee which decides which referees officiates which games,” he said.
Dintwe continued, “The committee considers many things such as the pace of the game. If the game is fast-paced, we know which officials to send because we know our officials, we know their strengths and we know which games they can handle. We do not take the selection process for granted as many believe.”
Dintwe added that they appoint match commissioners to assess the performance of referees and that feedback is very useful in their allocation of duty. On claims that some referees are not fit, Dintwe said that coaches must concentrate on coaching and leave referees alone especially that “some coaches do not even know all the 17 laws of the game.” He also said that there is a need for coaches to be educated about refereeing because “coaching and refereeing are true components of the game.”
1. REFEREE: MOEMEDI TLHABOLOGANG
2. 1ST ASST: SEIKOKOTLELO LESOLE
3. 2ND ASST: TILOLO MOLEFHE
4. 4TH OFFICIAL: KEABETSWE DINTWE
5. M/COMMISSIONER: THAPELO DISANG