…as Lefa ‘punishes’ Lioli trio over last year’s bonus row
Three national team players, Bushy Moletsane, Tšoanelo Koetle and Mohau Kuenane, were axed from the squad that travelled to Botswana on Monday for last night’s friendly match due to disciplinary reasons.
The trio has since been identified as ring-leaders of the team’s strike over allowances, which marred Lesotho’s failed 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign last year.
According to sources privy to the case, interim coach Seephephe Matete was ordered by his Lesotho Football Association “bosses” to drop the three Lioli players from the 25-member squad he announced last week ahead of the international friendly because of the allowances row.
“The coach wanted the players in his squad, which is why he had called them up in the first place. However, he was put under pressure by his Lefa bosses to leave out the boys, after arguing that they were responsible for last year’s strike over allowances,” said one of the sources on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation.
Meanwhile, the Lesotho Times is also reliably informed that all the players who travelled to Botswana on Monday were obliged to sign a “code of conduct form”, while Nkau Lerotholi, Mabuti Potloane and Lekhanya Lekhanya were warned they would be next to be shown the door should the team strike over allowances again.
However, one of the players who also spoke to the Lesotho Times on condition of anonymity, said it was unfortunate that a star like Koetle could be left out of the team for such a reason.
“The situation is very sad because Koetle is a consistent performer and one of the best players in the country at the moment. I feel the association should have found a better solution to this matter than discarding these boys just like that,” he said.
Lefa secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, confirmed the developments and told the Lesotho Times that the players were dropped to ensure “discipline and order” in the team.
“I cannot say it’s over for the three players as far as the national team is concerned. The ball is in their court and if we are convinced that they have learnt their lesson, maybe they will be back,” Mohapi said.
“It is also true that the players signed forms in which they pledged to respect rules and regulations as set out in those documents by the association.”