Netball shocker, season called off   

Conflicting stories emerge from association, teams

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – The Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) has unexpectedly called off the netball season, a few days after announcing the May 29 resumption of the season.  The cancellation will affect all three national netball leagues, the Super League, as well as the A and B divisions.

Reports show that the netball season was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 national lockdown’s related restrictions and health regulations. Lesotho first went into lockdown in March 2020, and again in the beginning of January this year. During the two lockdowns, all sports activities were suspended.

According to the LNA’s new Public Relations Officer, Machela Telang, the decision to cancel the season was reached after one of the teams wrote to the association complaining about the discrepancy of the fixtures.

“The decision to cancel the league(s) was made by the teams’ mangers themselves,” said Telang in an interview with Public Eye. “They have annulled the league after one of the teams lodged a complaint that it did not play against some of the teams as opposed to what appeared in the fixtures.”

Focus Netball Club (FNC) boss, ’Makhotso Mokoatle, confirmed that the decision to cancel the leagues was indeed their decision as teams’ managers. But unlike Telang, Mokoatle said that was done since there were many teams complaining about the fixtures, not just one team.

“In fact, it was us as teams’ managers who decided that the leagues be cancelled because there was no transparency as far as the netball fixtures are concerned,” said Mokoatle. “This was since many teams were complaining that they did not play against some of the teams in the league(s).”

Mokoatle, who is also a former LNA Vice President, blamed the association’s former Director of Development for the discrepancy.  “Our former Director of Development has totally failed to manage the results, hence we have decided to cancel the league(s).”

Mokoatle said they met last Saturday to agree on a way forward where the decision was reached to start a new netball season. “We are just from the meeting where we came up with a new planning and decided to start a new league(s).”

Telang confirmed that their focus is now on a new netball season which he said would probably start on June 12. Focus Netball Club is campaigning in the B Division. The top-flight netball league, Super League, comprises eight teams. About 22 teams competed at the just-ended netball season.

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