Matlama cry foul

Matlama cry foul

MASERU – Matlama are crying foul over the continued unavailability of five foreign players they say Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) is taking too long to issue registration cards.
The players include South African midfielder Teboho Lillane, Fidel Ndoya of Congo and the Ghanaian pair of Michael Mireku and Patrick Nyarko.
Without registration cards the players have been unable to feature in Matlama’s opening two games of this season and on Sunday ‘Tse Putsoa’ only dressed four substitutes instead of the permitted seven during their frustrating 1-1 stalemate with Sefotha-fotha.

The draw at PTC was an early setback for a Matlama side that has designs on winning the Econet Premier League title and afterwards ‘Tse Putsoa’ officials cried foul over their limited options.
Mireku and Lillane, for example, both played key roles for Matlama last season and ‘Tse Putsoa’ spokesperson Tankiso Moletsane said the club cannot understand why LEFA has still not issued cards for the players when they featured in the Premiership last season.
“We played the game (against Sefotha-fotha) without ten of our players; five of them do not have registering cards and three were not available due to work commitments while two are injured,” Moletsane complained.

“Our five foreign players do not have cards because of the absence of international clearances,” he added.
“We registered the players but their full registration was not complete due to the absence of clearances. It is a challenge for us because we registered 25 players for this season and out of that 25, 10 were absent (against Sefotha-fotha).”

Moletsane said Matlama’s main gripe is the players in question are not new to the league.
Mireku came to Lesotho in 2015 to join Sundawana before moving to Pitso Ground in August 2016 while countryman Nyarko joined Matlama in January after a two-year stay at Sundawana.
Lillane, for his part, joined ‘Tse Putsoa’ from Bantu at the start of this season following a successful one-year loan spell at Matlama while Ndoya also joined in August after previously featuring for Bantu and Kick4Life.

Of Matlama’s allowed quota of five foreign nationals, the only player new to Lesotho football is new signing Makume Theletsane from South Africa.
Moletsane said the situation is affecting Matlama on and off the field.
“We are affected by the misfortune because we are even paying the players without working,” he said.

“Four players (Mireku, Lillane, Ndoya and Nyarko) in those five foreign players have been playing in the country for some time, so why can’t they play now? We could not even make a substitution in our previous match so we had to be happy for a draw just like Sefotha-fotha.”

Moletsane said ‘Tse Putsoa’ have asked LEFA to allow Mireku, Lillane, Ndoya and Nyarko to play using last season’s registration documents while their clearances are sorted.
Matlama’s next Econet Premier League assignment is on Sunday against Likhopo.

“We made a request for their clearances and we are expecting them,” Moletsane said. “For now, I believe their previous clearance can be used while awaiting their association’s to send their clearances.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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