The burning issue of soft points versus hard points continues to plague local football. The latest episode where soft points are causing controversy includes the National First Division North (NFD)league where a rescheduled match between Francistown based Great North Tigers (GNT) and Chobe United is expected to be played at Nata primary school to decide which of the two teams relegates this Saturday.
The Francistown based GNT finished the log in position 9th, while Kasane based Chobe finished in position 6. GNT accumulated 27 points while Chobe acquired 30 points from 22 matches.
Chobe gained points after relegated Selibe Phikwe based Satmos FC failed to honour one of their fixtures. This week, NFD chairman Mpezeni Sambandawa confirmed that the league affiliates agreed at their Annual General Assembly to fixture the match between the two clubs. The NFD north league committee decided to fixture the game for this weekend. However, Sambandawa confirmed that the two clubs would play at a neutral venue soon.
“The law says a team cannot be disadvantaged by the other to win the league or get relegated. In this regard GNT is disadvantaged by Chobe,” explained Sambandawa. Article 5.3 of BFA play rules say, “Where teams gain goals and points through forfeiture by others, and consequently qualify for a league championship, promotion to a high league, or avoid relegation, and such gain has displaced other teams which would otherwise have qualified, or avoided relegation, the concerned teams shall have play offs ”.
FND north Chairman said their league went well, except for the match between Sua Flamingo and Morupule where supporters of the host team (Sua) invaded the pitch.
The club is yet to be charged formally after police and league investigations have been completed. The first division north welcomed Nico United; Mahalapye United Hotspurs and Green Lovers from BPL premiership.
The three relegated clubs push the league to create a space and welcome new entrants from the promotional play offs. The league welcomes Calendar stars from Francistown and Maphatshwa from Serowe, while Maun Tigers, Tasc and Satmos relegated to respective regional leagues.