MASERU – The Referees Committee of Lesotho Football Association has suspended four match officials who officiated the Matlama and LMPS game during the first leg of the LNIG Top-8 knock-out campaign, for allegedly failing to implement the laws of the game to the book.
The four include the referee, two assistant referees and a match commissioner.
They are referee Retšelisitsoe Molise, assistant referees Setoko Setoko and Puputla Lesupi as well as match commissioner Maponyane Letsie.
PLMC president Ikarabele Sello confirmed the suspension, saying the four officials failed to accordingly deal with Matlama’s Motebang Sera after he committed two bookable fouls, which warranted a red card.
Sello said the match commissioner, Letsie was also suspended for interfering with the match duties during the game.
The two-month suspension of the three referees, Molise, Setoko and Lesupi ends on May 7 while Letsie will serve a one-month suspension.
Commenting on how Sera’s case will be taken care of in the upcoming games, Sello said: “Sera has already served his suspension because the law stipulates that in a cup match when a player has been red-carded, he is supposed to serve a one-match suspension. Sera served his suspension last week when he missed a second-leg match in the quarter Finals.”
The decision comes after LMPS Semunye filed a protest to the PLMC against Matlama in respect of the the incident.
Instead of sending Sera off the pitch with a red card, Molise issued the player with a second yellow card, giving his side a chance to substitute the defaulter.
Earlier in the match Sera had fouled Basia Makepe and was booked with a yellow card and during the period of his subsequent substitution, the player deliberately wasted time, ignoring both the fourth official and the referee’s warnings.
The referee booked him again with another yellow card and he seemed to have forgotten that he had already booked the player and was therefore not supposed to have allowed Lehlomela Ramabele to substitute Sera.
Some six to 10 minutes later after the game had resumed, the match commissioner called the referee to the side-line to warn him that Sera should have been red-carded as his was a second bookable foul.
At that moment, the referee approached the Match bench and red-carded Sera who was already on the bench but failed to pull Ramabele off the field.