Bantu lose appeal case


…appeal board calls for de-registration of players  

Mikia Kalati

PREMIER League giants, Bantu, have lost their appeal against the Lesotho Football Association’s disciplinary committee’s guilty verdict for the fraudulent use of foreign players.

Bantu were found guilty of registering four more than the stipulated five foreign players when they fielded Thabo Selisa, Itumeleng Falene, Molaoa Pheko and Phumoha Matsipa in their December 2017 match against Lioli.

Lioli contested and won the case and were eventually awarded the three points and three goals from the game.

Bantu reacted by lodging an appeal and argued that Lioli had fraudulently acquired the evidence used in the case.

This was after South African home affairs official found himself in the storm involving the two teams having written an affidavit agreeing that he had fraudulently issued the birth certificates of the four players. He later withdrew the initial letter.

The Lesotho Times is in position of the two letters.

The disciplinary committee said it had found that the four players are South Africans who had previously registered and played for teams in the Free State province.

The protests and disputes body had also established from the evidence presented by Lioli that the players were also in possession of fraudulent Lesotho national identity documents which were all issued in 2017.

“It is untenable that one and the same player can be a citizen of a different countries hence we recommend to the National Executive Committee of the Lesotho Football Association to follow and investigate this matter further so that if there are any illegality ridding the obtaining of these national identity documents then the culprits must be brought to book,” the judgement said.

“We cannot afford to have the good name of the LeFA tainted through such illegalities, if any, the NEC should ensure that the association as well as the entire soccer fraternity is not brought into disrepute

“If this kind of behaviour of behaviour is not curbed at this early stage, the association will certainly face dire consequences.

Meanwhile, the Appeals Board yesterday ordered that the four Bantu players be de-registered from Lesotho football and that disciplinary processes be launched against the entire committee of the Mafeteng outfit.

“The appeal is dismissed and Lioli is awarded three (3) points and three goal (3) goals,” the statement from Appeal’s Board reads.

“All these four players be de-registered. Disciplinary process be launched against the entire committee of Bantu.

“Costs of this Appeal are awarded to Lioli FC in the amount of M3000.”

Falene, who has also played for the Lesotho national team during the 2017 COSAFA Cup held in South Africa had an impressive debut season at Bantu playing a vital role as the team clinched the league title.

He was found to have been registered for FC Hunters in the ABC Motsepe League with the identity number 9112115454088.

Selisa, who has been the club’s first choice goalkeeper over the last two seasons was also found to have played for the same team using identity number 8708215473083.

Molaoa and Phumoha also played for FC Hunter using 9407256146083 and 9302076246082 respectively.

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