Rollers to cough up to P900,000 for CAF champions league tie
By Bakang Mhaladi
Gaborone – Botswana’s representative in the CAF Champions League, Township Rollers, will fork out P900,000 (US$90,000) for their preliminary round tie against Madagascar’s side, Caisse Nationale de Prevoynace Socaile Sport (CNaPS) this month.
Rollers travel to the island nation for the first leg tie on February 11 before the return fixture in Gaborone a week later.
Rollers president and financier, Jagdish Shah told media this week that the two legged tie would come at cost almost P1million.
This includes travel costs and allowances for the team. Competing in African club competitions has often proved prohibitive with some teams opting out.
Rollers, however have a renewed sense of optimism this year with the backing of millionaire Shah.
He has promised players attractive incentives although he did not divulge much.
“There are incentives for our players. We cannot reveal the amount but I can tell you, they will be much wealthier than they are if they pass the stage,” Shah said.
Rollers has consistently failed to proceed beyond the second round stage of CAF club competitions despite being Botswana’s most decorated club on the local scene.
Meanwhile, Shah said the club is at a disadvantage going into the continental competition.
He said while the local soccer governing body, the Botswana Football Association (BFA) insists a club must register 25 players, CAF’s limit is 30, which gives an advantage to their opponents.
“Other teams can register up 30 players that give them an advantage over us. There is nothing we can do; we have to follow the rules of the country where you play. In other countries they can register five foreign players while we can only register three,” Shah said.
Rollers’ coach Mogomotsi ‘Teenage’ Mpote said they have to accept (the BFA rule) and move forward.
“We will be playing a very tough side. We have viewed their tapes, we are aware that they have a lot of play makers. They build up from the back. They have very good players, 90 percent of their squad are national team players but we have a good technical team with enough continental experience,” he said.
Rollers are fresh from a 2-0 Mascom Top 8 semi-final loss to holders, Orapa United at the weekend, and face litmus in the form of rivals, Gaborone United in the capital city derby on Saturday night in league encounter.