Mohapi speaks on league future

Mohapi speaks on league future

MASERU – Last week Vodacom Premier League clubs agreed to abort the current season in order to start preparing for a new one.
The clubs gave their recommendation to the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) whose job is to take it to the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) national executive committee (NEC) which will make the final decision.

That will be easier said than done, however, because the NEC has a lot of issues to consider before it can make any decision.
The NEC’s decision does not revolve around top-flight teams alone, all teams and leagues that fall under LEFA’s auspices must also be considered and consulted.

Speaking on Tuesday, LEFA’s secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the association does not want to find itself in “regulatory crises”.
Mohapi also revealed that, at the time of writing, the PLMC had not submitted any letter to his office regarding the recommendations by premiership clubs.

On top of aborting the 2020/21 season, clubs also recommended that no relegation or promotion of teams take place.
As things stand, neither the Vodacom Premier League nor A-Division has played the threshold of 75 percent of games which is required to consider the season as played. The NEC, therefore, has to decide what to do when it comes to relegation and promotion.

“The decision of what should happen with the season should take into cognisance what is happening in the other divisions,” Mohapi told thepost.
“For example, assuming the A-Division had played 76 percent of their games and the Premier League had played 52 percent, what would the regulations say? So some decision has to be taken facilitated by the NEC because if you play 75 percent of the league then the element of promotion and relegation comes in because the league is not considered to have been aborted,” he added.

Mohapi said there are no issues with the Women’s Super League (WSL) because its season is over. He said there would not be any issues with the B and C-Divisions either but it gets tricky when it comes to which teams would be promoted to the A-Division from the B-Division.
Mohapi said LEFA does not want to promote teams without relegation because that would compromise the leagues involved.

“It is not cut out there in cloth, you’ve got to also get the buy-in of the A-Division clubs, the buy-in of the referees from their management, you also got to get the buy-in of the sponsors, it’s not like a group of 16 or 32 people are going to decide,” Mohapi said
Because the impasse means Lesotho is being left behind on the global football calendar, getting buy-in from all stakeholders should not be difficult but it must be packaged well, Mohapi said.

A-Division teams are set to meet next week to decide what they want to do. If they decide to wait until Covid-19 cases decrease and sport is allowed to return and then continue their current season that would further complicate things.
“I would say let’s end the season on August 30 and use the month of September to prepare for the next season,” Mohapi said.
“Around October 15 we would start (the new season) only with vaccinated personnel so that if a fourth and fifth wave comes, you can at least play matches knowing that even if the players may contract the virus everybody will be safe,” he added.

“We need to get ourselves out of the situation where we only think about numbers rising, we must also consider how we can mitigate the numbers,” Mohapi said.
Mohapi said there is a lot that the NEC will have to take into consideration when making a decision on the way forward.
He said he will suggest a mini-league to replace the full 2021/22 season if the current impasse continues beyond the next two months.
“(If) we can’t get started until November I will present (that we) have a mini league between November and end of May,” he said.

Mohapi said his proposed mini-league would not be a full season but would at least give Lesotho football clarity such as having a team in next year’s CAF Champions League edition.
This year Lesotho will not have a representative in Africa’s premier club competition for the first time since 2010 because of the current stalemate.
“(My suggestion is) let’s just have a competition until next May and we will restart our league in August 2022,” Mohapi said.
“Let’s have a competition that will determine the team we will enrol in CAF competitions next year.”

Tlalane Phahla

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