Matlama docked three points

Matlama docked three points

Luciah Phahla

Maseru – Matlama’s Vodacom Premier League title challenge has been thrown into disarray after the club was docked three points and three goals by the Premier League yesterday.
The punishment applies to Matlama’s abandoned league game against Lioli on November 6 at Setsoto Stadium.

Lioli were leading 2-1 after 87 minutes when Matlama fans invaded the pitch and attempted to attack the referee forcing him to flee for cover.
The match was subsequently called off sparking later clashes between rival supporters which led to the fatal shooting of a Matlama fan.

Things went from bad to worse for Matlama yesterday as the league found ‘Tse Putsoa’ guilty of misconduct. The Premier League said Matlama had contravened several of its regulations and ruled the match against Lioli will not be replayed as ‘Tse Putsoa’ had hoped.
Instead, Lioli have been awarded a 3-0 win.
In addition, Matlama have been docked three points and three goals from their previous haul this season. It means Moses Maliehe’s charges, who had 15 points, have fallen from fifth to eighth place with 12 points.

‘Tse Putsoa’ were further ordered to play one match behind closed doors.
“Matlama is also fined M10 000 payable within 14 days of the finding,” the Premier League’s ruling added.
Lioli did not come out unscathed and have been fined M5 000 for “failure to provide adequate security” in what was their designated home match.
However, Matlama have been hit the hardest.
The Premier League said it wanted to send out a strong message.
“There seem to be a continuing trend of precedence in our league games where the club’s supporters would cause an abandonment of an official match hoping for a replay (sic),” the Premier League said.

The statement added: “We have advised ourselves that, in the findings we had always tried to rehabilitate the acts of misconduct with the hope and understanding that the transition stage of professionalism of our league comes with some challenges, but now we feel the clubs are taking our leniency for granted.”
“It is at this stage that the league feels it should be handing out deterrent punishment so as to protect our league and sponsors.”

Matlama had been hopeful this is the campaign they would break their six-year championship drought after the club finished second last season and began this term unbeaten until their clash against Lioli.
The league’s judgment, therefore, has not gone down well with Matlama’s bigwigs.
However, according to the club’s communication and marketing manager Tankiso Moletsane, Matlama’s board is yet to meet to discuss the ruling.
“The committee is yet to meet to discuss this (ruling) as it just came out now, but personally I am not happy with it,” he told thepost.

“Lioli has been awarded three points; the match didn’t end, fine. We have been fined M10 000, it’s fine. But what about the other three points that are just being taken away from us like that?”

Moletsane said being docked three points will hit Matlama hard but vowed they will work hard to collect more points.
Their first chance will be this afternoon’s rescheduled Vodacom Premier League game against Sundawana which will be played with no spectators as per the league’s ruling.
The match will start at 4 pm at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

Lesotho Premier League ruling on Lioli v Matlama game:
l The match will not be replayed
l Lioli have been awarded three points and three goals (3-0 win)
l Matlama have been docked three points and three goals from its pool in the league log
l Matlama also fined M10 000 payable within 14 days of ruling
l Matlama to play one official league match without spectators
l Lioli fined M5000 for failure to provide adequate security in its home game

Vodacom Premier League fixtures:
Thursday, 17 November
Matlama vs. Sundawana (16:00, Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena)
Likhopo vs. LCS (16:00, LCS)
Sky Battalion vs. Bantu (16:00, Mohale’s Hoek DiFA Ground)

Saturday, 19 November
Liphakoe vs. Linare (15:00, Quthing)
Kick4Life vs. LDF (15:00, LCS)

Sunday, 20 November
LCS vs. Butha-Buthe Warriors (15:00, LCS)
Bantu vs. Sundawana (15:00, Mafeteng
Matlama vs. Rovers (15:00, Maseru)
LMPS vs. Sky Battalion (15:00, PTC)
Lioli vs. Likhopo (15:00, Setsoto Stadium)
l        Matlama docked three points and three goals
l        LDF docked three points and three goals

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