Row over football season

Row over football season

MASERU – The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) and A-Division Management Committee (ADMACO) are at loggerheads over what to do with the football season.
ADMACO feel they were sidelined by the Premier League when the elite league body recommended to the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) that the unfinished 2020/21 league season be canned.

ADMACO insist they should have been engaged by the Premier League and they only heard of the Premier League’s decision over the media, even though that decision greatly affects the first division mother body.
Regardless of the PLMC’s recommendation, two weeks ago the LEFA announced the 2020/21 season would resume and be played to a finish.
LEFA said it made the decision after listening to the country’s various league management committees – including the PLMC and ADMACO – as well as LEFA’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

The PLMC is still fighting LEFA’s decision and there has been no word as to when the Vodacom Premier League will resume.
ADMACO spokesperson Mothusi Letsie said they have no such issues, however.
He said they will continue with the current season and hope to play it until it is finished.

Letsie said ADMACO will do so regardless of whether the Premier League decides to continue with the top-flight campaign or not.
He said ADMACO will see what happens with the Premier League when the A-Division’s schedule is complete. The fixture and the date for the resumption of the first division is already out and it is set to start on November 13.
“We will continue whether the Premier League do or not, we will see at the end what happens, we are not fighting with the Premier League,” Letsie said.

Letsie said that, like the Premier League, first division clubs do not have money but want to fulfil the commitments they made during club licensing when the 2020/21 season started last September.
Letsie said there are clubs that are in a position to get promoted to the Premier League and to abandon the season will also affect the B and C Divisions.

Last year the Covid-19 pandemic saved some Premier League clubs from relegation and, if the season was to end now, top-flight clubs would escape the drop for a second successive season which would be a big blow to the likes of A-Division league leaders Machokha who would potentially miss out on a much-coveted promotion to the elite league.
One of the PLMC’s main gripes, however, is that the premiership’s sponsors, Vodacom Lesotho, said it will give clubs money to prepare for a new season.
“(The Premier League) want money,” Letsie said.
“They are saying they have spoken with their sponsor and it has agreed to give them 52 percent of the money, but as the leaders they did not engage with us to say ‘this is what we are thinking.’ They made a decision that affects us all,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Premier League, PLMC spokesperson Qamako Mahao said the top-flight body cannot engage with the A-Division without a mandate from the National Executive Committee (NEC).
He said both bodies are governed by the NEC but the PLMC is independent as it is elected by clubs, whereas ADMACO are the appointees of LEFA’s NEC.
“To directly engage with the A-Division without the NEC mandating us to do so would mean the Premier League is jumping above LEFA’s heads,” Mahao said.

Mahao said if the NEC created a platform for the two bodies to meet, the PLMC would be happy to sit down and talk with the A-Division.
Mahao was also unhappy with Letsie’s comments in the media that Premier League teams have the Covid-19 Relief Fund money. He said the money was for the previous season and the teams have already accounted for it.
Premier League teams are unhappy and they asked to meet with the NEC after LEFA’s announcement that football will resume. The clubs are asking for funding from LEFA, but LEFA has denied them any cash and told them there is no money.

No indication has been given as to when the meeting between the Premier League clubs and the NEC will happen, if it does happen.
When football returns, this time around spectators will be allowed to attend the games after an announcement by the Prime Minister Dr. Moeketsi Majoro on Sunday, but only vaccinated people will be allowed to attend games.

Tlalane Phahla

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