Bantu defiant

Bantu defiant

Club says will not stop fundraising by supporters

MASERU-Bantu will not stop their supporters’ fundraising efforts, even after the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) ordered the club to do so in a meeting held on Tuesday.

The parties finally met this week following a series of letters between the two sides since late April when the PLMC warned Bantu it was undermining the league’s own fundraising initiative which it started last month to help clubs during the current coronavirus football stoppage.
The Econet Premier League has been halted since March 17 and clubs have struggled to cope financially with others such as Lioli having to drastically reduce their players’ salaries.

Bantu said the dire situation prompted their fans to start their own fundraising efforts to support the club shortly after the PLMC began its initiative.

However, the PLMC did not take kindly to Bantu’s active involvement on social media and the club providing supporters with channels they can use to deposit money to the team.
The PLMC ordered the Mafeteng club to stop the fundraising efforts but hit a brick wall as the log leaders insisted it was not their idea but their supporters’.

Speaking to thepost yesterday, Bantu spokesperson Bokang Phasumane said the meeting with the PLMC did not yield any resolution to the matter.
He said Bantu will not stop the fundraising because they are not the ones who started it.

“We did not reach any resolution, but they told us they had already started fundraising and that they wrote to all Premier League clubs and only Bantu didn’t respond,” Phasumane said.
“They complained about ‘M-Pesa’ and we made it clear that we use ‘EcoCash’ in all our official platforms and that’s what we have been promoting. This is the supporters’ fundraising, we are not going to stop it,” he insisted.

The Premier League is sponsored by Econet Telecom Lesotho and Econet has its own ‘EcoCash’ platform which is used to send and receive money.
Phasumane insisted Bantu support the league’s initiative and its sponsors, Econet.

He said Bantu expect to meet the PLMC again.
“We support their initiative but we don’t know when they are going to have the money (to give to clubs), how much it will be,” said.
“We don’t know how the money is going to be shared, whether it will be shared equally or not. We didn’t finish the meeting, we are going to meet again,” he said.

Phasumane also revealed the PLMC asked Bantu to release a public statement acknowledging they had a fruitful meeting with the league and only after would the league release its own statement.
Reached for comment, PLMC spokesperson Moeketsi Ramakatsa offered a conflicting response saying the league and Bantu had been communicating via letters and agreed it was important to have a meeting and talk.

He said Bantu admitted to their wrongdoing and Ramakatsa said he was shocked to hear the club will still continue with their fundraising, even after Tuesday’s meeting.

Tlalane Phahla

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