Date set for season opener

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Premier League General Manager, Baitsi Motsamai
Premier League General Manager, Baitsi Motsamai

Mikia Kalati

THE M1.136 million 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League season roars into life on 28 August 2016, with 14 teams once again contesting for the championship this season.

According to Premier League General Manager, Baitsi Motsamai, they earmarked the weekend of 28 August, although the fixture list is yet to be finalised.

“We identified 28 August as the day to start the new season now that everything has been finalised including the new sponsorship deal from Vodacom Lesotho (VCL),” said Motsamai.

“The league is just finalising a few issues before announcing the fixtures for the new season.”

The league’s new sponsorship deal was unveiled last week during the Vodacom Premier League awards ceremony. The telecommunications giant increased its league sponsorship from M1 million last season to M1.136 million for the 2016/17 campaign.

Motsamai said there were grateful to Vodacom Lesotho for the sponsorship, adding that the league had grown over the last two years.

“We are on the right track, and I think we fared well as the football community last season,” he said.

“The other positive for me is that there were no crowd troubles reported during our matches in the previous campaign. So, I think we are making progress.”

Motsamai said a number of initiatives would soon be implemented to improve the league.

“We are currently preparing a manual that will guide our teams going into the new season to help them improve. There are a lot of reforms in the pipeline as part of efforts to bring transformation and professionalism into the league.”

He said it was a matter of time before the premier league lands mega sponsorship deals akin to the South African league.

“We will eventually get there, and I think it is just a matter of changing the mind-set of sponsors to see the need to invest large amounts of money in football activities,” Motsamai said.

“I think we should work towards televising some of our league matches, even if it is not all of them. It is one of the initiatives in the pipeline, as we intend to engage an international broadcaster so they can come on board.”

The new premier league season will see Sky Battalion and Butha Buthe Warriors replacing relegated Mphatlalatsane and Likila United.

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