The Botswana Premier League (BPL) cancelled a fixture between Gaborone United and Gilports Lions with only a few hours before kick-off this past Wednesday. The cancellation centres around six Gaborone United (GU)players that have been called up to the national team for a Saturday international friendly against Likoena of Lesotho. However, circumstance leading up to the cancellation, are attributed to some misunderstanding and a rather clumsy way of communicating between the BPL and the Gaborone outfit.
The fixture was likely to put GU in compromising position as some of their key players formed part of the Zebras squad that played the Under 20 team in a predation match at Lekidi this past Wednesday afternoon.
The likes of Tumisang Orebonye and current league top goal scorer Thatayaone Kgamanyane were part of the team. This would mean the six players would play Gilport only hours after the predatory match.
The BPL issued a press release this week stating that the game between GU and Gilport Lions scheduled for the Molepolole Sports Complex has been postponed to 20th May. The game was supposed to assist the relegation threatened Lions to catch up with the rest of the teams. The troubled lions have played only 20 games while most of the teams in the league have played 22. The press statement released by the BPL explains that confusion was created via the GU Facebook page, which indicated that the Wednesday match will be postponed.
The BPL document further states that there was uncertainty that GU players from the national team will be released to join the team for the fixture against Lions. BPL further explained that there was a promise that GU players will be released to join the team. However, in his response earlier this week, GU General Manager Olebile Sikwane said the GU page has nothing to do with the postponement of the game. “The fact is that GU has six players at the Zebras camp and FIFA is unambiguous about what should happen. The game was postponed in the best interest of the national team,” Sikwane states. He added that the game was an impossibility for his team. The players involved include Tshepo Maikano, Alphonso Modisaotsile, Thatayaone Kgamanyane and Tumisang Orebonye, Alford Velaphi and Ryan Small. Meanwhile, national team headcoach Major David Bright is preparing the national team for a friendly game against Likoena. The six GU players will be joined by some of the best player in the country in a game dedicate to the outgoing President Ian Khama.
The Zebras and Likoena have had an interesting rivalry having played to a one all draw the last time they met. However, Likoena been on great form lately and a game against Zebras always provides a spectacle for football supporters