Township Rollers, arguably the team with the largest following in Botswana and currently occupying the second spot in the Botswana Premier League log will not be part of the Mascom Charity Cup scheduled for Obed Itani Stadium in Francistown in four weeks time.
Instead, Rollers will watch the soiree on television after being heavily outvoted by followers of other teams when voting lines closed on the 28th of February. The charity cup will be held on 2nd of April.
While a solitary point separates Rollers and Gaborone United in the national league, according to audited and verified results by Mascom a staggering 26 347 votes’ was the difference between the two teams. The one day football extravaganza will pit Security Systems against BDF IX in the first installment. In the second matchup Gaborone United will face Orapa United FC.
There will be no extra time in the event of a draw and teams will promptly proceed to penalties to break the deadlock. According to event organisers, this is to make more time for physical recovery as the games move towards the finals.
As the most voted team, Gaborone United racked some 62 984 votes securing a comfortable position in the Charity Cup. Meanwhile, Security Systems trailed GU in second position with an equally hefty 51 027 votes while BDF IX and Orapa United secured 48 596 and 44 407 votes respectively.
Rollers was beaten to the vote by the lowly ranked BR Highlanders which was the 5th most voted team at 34 204 votes.
Supporters were granted the opportunity to vote for their teams via a Short Message Service line whose proceeds are set aside for charity homes.
The winner of the inaugural charity cup will bag P250, 000 while the runner up will receive P150, 00.Meanwhile semi-finalists will each bag P90, 000.
Mascom revealed at the launch of the inaugural cup that they had set aside around P1.1 million for travel and accommodation purposes for football teams and auxiliary items to ensure that the tournament is a roaring success.