Matlama mulls points protest against Bantu

Matlama mulls points protest against Bantu

MASERU – Econet Premier League title hopefuls Matlama have hinted at reopening their points protest against Bantu after seeing fellow championship contenders Lioli awarded a 3-0 win over ‘A Matšo Matebele’ this week.
On Monday, the Lesotho Football Association’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) instructed the Premier League to punish Bantu by awarding Lioli a 3-0 win for a league meeting between the sides in December after finding the Mafeteng giants guilty of fraudulently registering four South African players as Lesotho nationals in order to comply with the league’s foreign quota of five players.
The judgement has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons.

Thanks to the ruling, Bantu’s lead ahead of Matlama and Lioli at the top of the Econet Premier League has been slashed to one point.
However, that may just be the tip of the iceberg. I January, Matlama also lodged a complaint against Bantu for using more foreign players than is permitted following the teams’ league encounter on December 3 – a match ‘A Matšo Matebele’ won 4-2.
A month later, however, ‘Tse Putsoa’ withdrew their case citing a lack of time to collect enough evidence.

Speaking to thepost yesterday, Matlama communications and marketing manager Tankiso Moletsane insisted ‘Tse Putsoa’ still need “to work hard for themselves and win games” in order to have a shot at winning the championship but he didn’t rule out any boardroom possibilities.
“Of course, we are looking at what is happening (with Bantu) and we hope it works out in our favour, but we have to win our games and work hard. We can see there is an opportunity (to win the league),” Moletsane said.

“We had a similar case (to Lioli’s), not only us but even Likhopo, too,” he added.
“What happened to our case is that we were given a short time to present our case. We asked for it to be postponed but it didn’t happen (so) we decided to withdraw and collect evidence. We felt the time given was not sufficient because such evidence takes time to collect. But, now that Lioli has won, it shows we did have a case.”

On Saturday, Matlama return to Econet Premier League action when they take on eighth-placed Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) at the LCS Ground. ‘Tse Putsoa’ are riding high after a successful weekend in the Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 quarterfinals where they turned a 1-0 first leg deficit against Kick4Life into a 3-1 aggregate win.

Matlama are now in the semi-finals and will face Lioli whom they thrashed 4-1 in the league two weeks ago.
With ‘Tse Putsoa’ suddenly just a point behind Econet Premier League leaders Bantu as well, hopes have been ignited around Pitso Ground that Mosito Matela’s charges can finally end the club’s traumatic eight-year trophy drought.

Furthermore, Matlama go into the crucial clash against LCS buoyed by the return to fitness of playmaker Jane Thaba-Ntšo, who had been suffering from flu, and influential anchorman Kefuoe Mahula. “We are definitely motivated. But it didn’t start this weekend (against Kick4Life), it started with that game against Lioli,” Moletsane said.

“The game against Kick4Life was a cup game; it could have gone either way. But this team that we have is capable of winning and we are just going in for three points (against LCS).”
Weekend Econet Premier League fixtures:

Saturday (15:00)
Bantu vs. Sky Battalion (Setsoto stadium)
Sefotha-fotha vs. Majantja (LCS 13:00)
Matlama vs. LCS (LCS 15:00)
Sunday (15:00)
Linare vs. Likhopo (Maputsoe DIFA Ground)
LMPS vs. Kick4Life (PTC)
Liphakoe vs. Lioli (Quthing)
(Times and venues subject to change)

Luciah Phahla

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