As tussle for football administration heats up
MASERU – A battle of wits has ensued leading to open confrontation between the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) over national football administrative issues. According to sources close to these developments, the jostling has reached a point where it can be described as a crisis.
The recent move by the PLMC to deduct points from the Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) FC and the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) FC each after the teams failed to honour fixtured league games is at the centre of the showdown. The PLMC subtracted three points and three goals from LDF and LMPS for dishonouring matches with Linare and Kick4Life, while LDF disregarded their fixtures with FC Likhopo and Liphakoe.
This followed call ups for some of their players for duty with the national team, Likuena, for the recent Council of Southern Africa Football Association (COSAFA) tournament held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Public Eye has been reliably informed that last week Friday LeFA dismissed the PLMC decision after an appeal by the two teams to intervene in the matter. And LeFA Secretary General, Mokhosi Mohapi, has also since confirmed the local football association’s intervention and reversal of the PLMC decision.
“The association’s NEC (National Executive Committee) has brushed aside the decision of the PLMC,” said Mohapi in an interview on Monday this week, further claiming, “The PLMC has acted in bad faith in its handling of the matter.” “They acted in bad faith. They did not want to listen to the fact that both teams could not play while their players were at the national team.”
Mohapi told this paper that LeFA has already issued letters to concerned parties even though he would not disclose in detail the contents of the letter, except that the PLMC’s decision has been repealed. But Public Eye sources say the concerned teams were on Monday yet to receive their letters despite that LeFA released them to the PLMC office last Friday. “The letters were given to the PLMC’s office and the teams are yet to receive them because the order (by LeFA) is that the letters be released to the concerned teams by PLMC,” said one source.
“The fact is that the order has been given to the PLMC and the PLMC is yet to respond.” Sources further said PLMC was yet to meet this week to deliberate on the order of LeFA. “PLMC is yet to meet this week after it has received the order from LeFA. “PLMC chairman (Mosa Seoli) has called an urgent meeting,” said the source. But Seoli rubbished the rumours that he has called the PLMC meeting to deliberate on the LeFA’s order, saying they usually held meetings week in and week out.
“We have meetings every week and this week one of the agendas would be what is it that we need to do for the resumption of football,” said Seoli. The PLMC chairman further denied that his office has received such letters from LeFA or any order by the executive of the association regarding its decision to fine both LDF FC and LMPS FC. “I don’t remember my office receiving any letter from LeFA. Maybe it has been copied to us or it was a circulation because if the letter was not written to PLMC, it is not ours.”
Regarding an order by LeFA for PLMC to reverse its decision, according to sources close to the matter, Seoli said that would be impossible. “I think they (LeFA) would have first changed the rules and regulations and say as per the new amendment, if indeed they want us to reverse our decision because here in Lesotho LeFA is the one who makes rules and regulations. “But if the rules and regulations say we are the ones who run the premier league so be it.
“But if we can act by instruction of somebody who when he wakes up orders us to do certain things without changing the rules and regulations then we will be in trouble,” Seoli said. LDF FC’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Donny Ntakha, who is also a member of the PLMC, confirmed that his club was yet to receive their letter from PLMC.
On the other hand, LMPS FC’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Lekhooana Lekhooana, said his club had received the said letter. “Yes, we are in receipt of the letter and in short the letter says LeFA has dismissed the decision by the PLMC,” said Lekhooana. PLMC’s argument on this whole issue is that both LDF FC and LMPS FC’s letters for PLMC to allow them not to continue with their fixtures in the absence of their players who were called up to the senior national team were received late and not within seven days as per the rules.