LDF, LMPS docked  six points

LDF, LMPS docked six points

MASERU – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) have each been docked six points for failing to show up for Vodacom Premier League games earlier this month.
The two clubs have appealed the Premier League Management Committee’s (PLMC) decision but the punishment will severely dent their respective top four hopes.

For LDF the matches in question were against Liphakoe and Likhopo while LMPS were due to play Linare and Kick4Life.
The PLMC has come down hard on both teams and each has been docked six points and six goals which would drop LDF from fourth place to ninth in the league and LMPS to 13th place.

Unsurprisingly, the two teams are appealing the PLMC’s decision arguing they were without key players who were with the national team preparing for the recently ended COSAFA Cup in South Africa.
LDF had goalkeeper Likano Mphuthi and midfielders Koete Mohloai and Tšepo Toloane in the Lesotho squad while LMPS were missing goalkeeper Sekhoane Moerane and defenders Nkau Lerotholi and Basia Makepe.

The players were part of the Likuena squad that entered a national team bio-bubble at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena late last month which meant their clubs could no longer have access to them.
Likuena’s COSAFA’s Cup campaign started on July 6 and ended last week.
According to PLMC rules clubs can request a match to be postponed if they have three or more players away with the national team.
However, the request has to be made three days before the fixture in question which would mean LDF and LMPS don’t have a leg to stand on in their appeals because both showed up on the day of their respective matches against Liphakoe and Linare.

Both clubs then failed to play their following fixtures a few days later.
PLMC spokesperson Qamako Mahao said the league’s rules are clear.
He added that the league has not received LMPS’s appeal and the PLMC has no idea what the club is appealing.
“The rules and regulations are clear if you do not show up you forfeit the game,” Mahao said.

“We wrote to them and we were not convinced with their reasoning hence the sentence, we are hearing from the media about the appeal but we do not have one on our table and we do not know what they are appealing, the sentence or the decision,” he added.
Last month a war of words erupted between the PLMC and the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) when Likuena went into their bio-bubble camp. The PLMC said it was unnecessary for players to be away from their clubs while LEFA insisted it had given the league Likuena’s schedule and the PLMC was aware players would be unavailable.

Either way, the PLMC scheduled league games to continue and teams were expected to show up.
LMPS travelled all the way to Maputsoe to face Linare without their trio of Likuena internationals but did not play the match. The club also did not show up for their game against Kick4Life a few days later.
Both LDF and LMPS are now facing heavy punishment from the league for “non-compliance.”

Two weeks ago both were served with letters by the PLMC asking them to explain why they didn’t honour their games.
Both teams responded but the league was not buying their excuses and last week sent letters to the clubs informing them of their heavy sentences.
LMPS spokesperson Tlali Mothoana confirmed ‘Simunye’ received a letter from the PLMC last Thursday and that the club has already appealed. He would not specify exactly what LMPS are appealing, whether it is the decision to punish the club or the sentence handed down. Mothoana also refused to say why LMPS did not play against Linare despite travelling to Maputsoe saying it would compromise the club’s case against the league.

For LDF, spokesperson Donny Ntakha also confirmed they have been docked points. However, he said the club is still thinking of what to do and, at the time of writing, there had been no decision yet from LDF club management.
Ntakha said LDF did not show up for their games against Liphakoe and Likhopo because they had three players with the national team, and that LEFA had ordered LDF’s games to be postponed.

Tlalane Phahla

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