MASERU — Vodacom A-Division side Mpharane Celtics are up in arms over title rivals Maduma’s 7-1 win over Butha-Buthe Fast XI on Sunday.
If the result stands Maduma will be promoted to the Vodacom Premier League at the expense of Celtics because of a superior goal difference.
Celtics have appealed against Maduma’s victory, meaning the winner of the Northern Stream might be decided in a boardroom.
The huge winning margin is not Celtics’ main concern.
They say Maduma had an unfair advantage because their match against Butha-Buthe Fast XI kicked off late.
The kick-off was delayed by an hour because Maduma had brought a kit that clashed with the home side’s colours.
At the time Celtics were wrapping up their 5-1 win over Lifefo, Maduma and Butha-Buthe Fast XI were only starting their second half.
This could mean Maduma, who were 2-0 up at half-time, could have been spurred by the result from the other match.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times on Monday, Celtics manager Freeze Ntene insisted they were not contesting the integrity of the match but its late kick-off.
“Our match started at 3pm and theirs at 4pm,” he said.
“By the time our match was ending they were only going into the second half so it’s obvious they would have an advantage.”
Ntene added: “There is no good reason why the match started late — it was not raining (and) there was no fighting.
“The rules are very clear. The visiting team has to bring two kits in case there is a clash.”
The A-Division Management Committee’s secretary, ‘Mifi Nteso, confirmed Celtics had lodged an appeal over Maduma’s win.
“There is a protest by Mpharane Celtics,” he said, adding the issue had been forwarded to the first division’s disciplinary and protests committee.
Ntene said they were hurt to see their dream of promotion into the Premier league almost go up in smoke and were hopeful their appeal would be successful.
“We are hurt after all the sacrifices and the hard work we have done through the season,” he said.
“If we want to build our football we have to have transparency.”
In the Southern Stream goal difference could again decide matters.
Mabeoana, who are top with 32 points, face Melele in a replay on Saturday in Mohale’s Hoek.
Then on Sunday Mabeoana are away to Mohale’s Hoek Young Stars while second-placed Arsenal host Sefothafotha.
Vodacom A-Division results
Northern Stream: Butha-Buthe Fast XI 1-7 Maduma, Mpharane Celtics 5-1 Lifefo, Roaring Lions 4-2 Mokhotlong LMPS, Qalo 1-7 Manamela, Berea LMPS 1-4 Butha-Buthe Warriors.
Southern Stream: Maseru Naughty Boys 4-0 Mafeteng LMPS.