New firm to work on player contracts

New firm to work on player contracts

MASERU – There is a new company on Lesotho’s football landscape hoping to change the game for players.
DIDA Sport Promotions and Marketing, or DIDA Sport for short, was founded last year seeking to educate premier league footballers about transfers and the contracts they sign.
So far the company has one success story having helped facilitate the transfer of Ikhetheng Malibe to Moretele Gunners in Pretoria, a team competing in the ABC Motsepe League in South Africa’s second division.

The company was founded by football enthusiast Maponyane Letsie and handles players’ off-field business, saving them the headache of having to negotiate contracts themselves while trying to stay sharp on the field. Admittedly, the company is still finding its feet within the football industry and, in an interview with thepost, Letsie says DIDA Sport’s main challenge is players remain reluctant to join despite understanding the need for the services it offers.

He continued that players commit themselves to long-term contracts with clubs that do not serve their best interests but those of clubs.
Football in Lesotho is semi-professional at best, but contractual disputes between players and clubs are never-ending and every now and then, Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) is called in to resolve disagreements.

Just last week, a player walked out of Majantja due to disputes over salaries and Letsie says with proper intermediaries and contractual agreements, such incidents can be avoided.
“Our players just sign contracts without knowing what is entailed in the contract so we act as an intermediary for players,” Letsie says.

“Sometimes the players sign long-term contracts that do not serve their best interests. For example, after signing (a contract for) three years, there comes another team that wants him and his club may refuse to let him leave and deny him better opportunities. So we are focused more on football players because they are semi-professional.”
“We negotiate contracts on behalf of players from one team to another once he becomes a client,” Letsie adds.

“We can take you from Matlama to Linare, from Linare to Lesotho Defence Force, for example. We already have a player that we have negotiated a contract to go to Moretele Gunners. His name is Ikhetheng Malibe and it’s been some time. I found him in Koro-Koro and we helped him with everything to go there and get a (South Africa) work permit and now he is playing in Pretoria.”
DIDA Sport is not only focusing on players but is also involved in facility management and sport recreation which entails maintaining existing facilities or constructing grounds from stratch.
“The players understand but they are yet to come on board,” Letsie says.

“I think it’s because it is a new thing. We have a team of lawyers that look after contracts. Just last week we saw Majantja and player issues about money and contracts, we can help. Our players don’t know what is written in their contracts. It is important to leave such matters to their representatives to work such issues,” he adds.
“I don’t advise a player to sign a long-term contract. It is not good because when opportunities come, the club might refuse to let you go. The contract must be a season and half; that’s the longest, not more than that,” he said.

“There was a player that was supposed to transfer from Liphakoe to Sefotha-fotha and Liphakoe refused. Sefotha-fotha is a police team; he could go and get a job, but due to a long contract he couldn’t.”

Luciah Phahla

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