A clean start for football


Mikia Kalati

ECONET Premier League clubs are back at work in preparation for the new season that is scheduled to start late next month.

There is no doubt that 2017/18 will go down as one of the most controversial seasons witnessed in our football in a long time.

The league campaign was distracted early in the season when Sandawana failed to honour several matches which led to the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) disqualifying the team.

This led to confusion in the end regarding the relegation of the usual two teams from the league by the end of the season. Both the PLMC and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) released contradicting statements regarding how the matter was going to be handled.

In the end, Likhopo who finished second from last was forced to engage in relegation play-offs against two teams from the A Division teams. However, Likhopo have since won the play-offs and have retained their place in the league.

Of course, there was that long feud between Lioli and Bantu over the irregular registration of A Matšo Matebele players which in the end damaged to the image of beautiful game in the country.

For me, this should have been handled with tact by the administrators but I am glad all that is in the past and teams can start on a new slate.

One can only hope that the administrators have learnt from all the mess so that we never experience such in our football.

The game has seen substantial transformation and growth in the Mountain Kingdom in recent years and we must continue in that direction.

Companies have improved their sponsorships and I am sure they were all ashamed of the fights that dominated the 2017/18 season.

This is a chance for all those that are in leadership of the game in the country to learn from those experiences and get things right in executing their duties.

The same goes for our clubs who should not repeat the same mistakes.

I am also concerned with how the PLMC handled its business after Econet Telecom Lesotho came on board as the new league sponsors.

The manner in which the end of the season awards were handled left a lot to be desired. Some of the nominees were only announced on the day of the awards and it is not known how they came up with the list.

Our administrators must learn from other countries how they handle such matters.

Our football may still be regarded as amateurish but the PLMC must play its part and improve the game.

Nonetheless, we are grateful to Econet for coming on board with incentives like the monthly awards for outstanding players and coaches. This has improved the level of competition at club level. This however, also needs to be handled with care in the new season.

All the sponsors deserve credit for the role that they played in uplifting the standards of the game in the country.

The recent appointments of coaches and signing of players between the teams has already made it interesting and one cannot wait for the start of the new season.


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