MASERU – A number of top-flight teams billed to compete in the Matekane Group of Companies (MGC) Soccer Spectacular has increased from four to eight.
The inaugural competition that is sponsored solely by the MGC kicks off tomorrow and ends on Sunday. Initially, participants included Matlama, Lioli, Bantu and Kick4Life but after discussions between MGC and the PLMC, discussions, Sefothafotha, FC Likhopo, LDF and LCS.
“Following our deliberations with MGC management, we have jointly decided to take the top eight teams on the 2018/19 EPL (Econet Premier League) L (log) Table as of March 4,” reads MGC press release which was signed by both MGC head of corporate communications ’Mamotake Matekane and PLMC chairman Ikarabelle Sello.
The press release further reads: “The teams as selected will all partake in the MGC Soccer Spectacular.”
The initial draw of the tournament had Matlama drawn against Kick4Life and Lioli against arch-rivals Bantu.
But after the changes, Matlama are pitted against Sefothafotha, Bantu face LDF, Lioli take on Kick4Life while LCS face FC Likhopo.
PLMC’s public relations officer, Moeketsi Ramakatsa, said initially, the PLMC was never involved or made aware of the tournament.
This is despite MGC football consultant, Baba Malephane, saying during the tournament launch and draw three weeks ago that the PLMC were duly informed about the competition.
Notwithstanding, neither the PLMC nor the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) was represented at the launch.
“From the beginning we knew nothing about the MGC tournament,” Ramakatsa told Public Eye on Wednesday.
He said they only acted after they heard about the tournament from the grapevines.
Ramakatsa further said: “In a nutshell, Mr Malephane failed to follow football procedures. But that’s no longer the issue now as we have managed to solve the matter amicably with MGC.”
He was however, quick to add that what happened in the first place was a big mess though they could not revoke the tournament at this stage with all the preparations MGC has already made.
“That’s the situation we could not change completely, and we are sorry for that,” Ramakatsa said.
Among the current eight premier league teams, the top two will proceed to the semi-finals of the MGC Soccer Spectacular where they will play Mantšonyane United and another Thaba-Tseka based-side (which is yet to be identified) in Mantšonyane on March 23.
The tournament has been organised as part of MGC’s corporate social responsibility to the community of Mantšonyane community, where the MGC boss Sam Matekane originates from.
MGC has just completed building a school for the community, after building a church in 2005.
The four semi-finalists will each get M100 000. This is since there are no prizes for winners, runners-up, third and fourth-placed as the clubs were invited into the competition to celebrate MGC’s achievements.