Premier league start postponed

Premier league start postponed

Maseru – The Vodacom Premier League has postponed the start date for the new season to September 2 because of a delay from the sponsors in paying clubs their season allowances.
The 2017/18 league season had been scheduled to begin next weekend but the kick-off has now been pushed back a week to allow clubs to prepare.
According to premier league public relations officer, Mosito Lekholoa, the league wants to give all 14 top-flight clubs a fair chance to get ready for the new season and does not want to force the opening games to continue next week as some teams depend on Vodacom’s sponsorship grant to carry out their preparations.
Lekholoa, nonetheless, admitted the postponement will inconvenience league organisers as the season progresses.

“There was a delay in payments for the clubs; as we speak they still have not been paid but we have been told they will get their money by Friday,” he said.
“You know the teams need the money and they use that money to prepare for the new season hence we decided to postpone the start of the league.”

Lekholoa added: “Of course it will affect us because when we decided on the 26th of August (as the start date) we were trying to avoid any fixture congestion at a later stage but now this postponement will absolutely affect us. The fixture has not changed, it is still the same, it is just the start date that has changed.”
The league and Vodacom have received criticism from the football fraternity over their failure to pay clubs their grants in time and failing to host the end of season awards for the 2016/17 campaign.

Besides the delay in payments, the Setsoto Stadium, the venue for the opening league fixtures, has also been booked as Prime Minister Tom Thabane will renew his marital vows with his wife, MaIsaiah, next week. Lekholoa said the ceremony was another factor in forcing the league to postpone next weekend’s start date.

Luciah Phahla

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