Clampdown on hooligans

MASERU – Unruly fans at the Caf Champions League match between Matlama and Supersport United on Sunday will be locked up in temporary holding cells at Setsoto Stadium in a move aimed at clamping down on hooliganism.

Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, said they want to deal dicisively with football hooligans in Lesotho.

“Unruly and drunk supporters and those who might want to do as they please during the match will be locked up in the holding cells at the stadium until the end of the game,” Makoele said.

“After the match the police will decide what to do with them.”

Makoele said Lefa had asked the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and a local security firm, MM Security, to provide maximum security at Setsoto on Sunday.

“We’ve engaged a security company, MM Security, and the police will also be there to provide security services at the game,” Makoele said.

“We decided to ensure that there is maximum security at the games after realising its time things are done differently during matches.”

Hooliganism has been a constant feature of Lesotho football with unruly fans, who are usually drunk, often disrupting matches across the country.

To deal with the problem Lefa last year banned the use of alcohol during league matches.

But things never improved as spectators continued to enter football grounds with bottles of liquor.

Makoele said Lefa had decided to clamp down on hooliganism because they want to reinforce the police’s initiative of keeping unruly fans away from stadiums.

“There was a time when the police were throwing drunk supporters outside the stadium,” Makoele said.

“We saw and appreciated the police’s work. So we decided to reinforce this police initiative by ensuring that there is maximum security during matches, starting with this one,” he said.

Meanwhile, Makoele said there will be adjustments regarding how fans enter the stadium to avoid a stampede.

“M30 ticket holders will use the main gate to enter the stadium and will go straight to the Royal Stand.

“Those who would have bought M20 tickets will use the gate on the side of the Co-op College and will sit at the Matlama Stand facing the Royal Stand.

“The kids, M10 ticket holders, will use the gate facing Maseru East and are expected to sit on the east facing the Royal Stand seats.”

Makoele said they had organised a curtain-raiser match between ex-Matlama and former Likuena players ahead of the big match.

Meanwhile, Matlama coach Mahao “Bomba” Matete said his charges were determined to turn the tables against Supersport United in the return leg on Sunday.

“Our preparations have been pretty normal but we are taking them more seriously this time around,” Matete said.

Matete said his strategy for Sunday’s match was to play a more defensive game to ensure they do not concede more goals.

“We must change two or three things because we are going into this match after having conceded two goals,” Matete said.

“My strategy is to play a very defensive yet attacking game to ensure that we score more goals and concede none,” he said.

He said supporters must expect at least two changes in the line-up from the players who were on duty in Polokwane two weeks ago.

“There are only a few changes. We are going to change our style of playing and maybe two individuals,” he said.

However Matete would not disclose the names of these
individuals.

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