Date set for season opener

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PLMC General Management, Baitsi Motsamai (2)Makita Kalati

The 2015/16 Vodacom Premier League season is provisionally expected to roar into life on 22 August.

Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) general manager, Baitsi Motsamai, told the Lesotho Times this week that a draft of the fixtures had already been drawn and would soon be finalised and made public.

“We are expecting to start the new season on 22 August and have already drawn a draft of fixtures that would soon be finalised,” Motsamai said.

According to Motsamai, Vodacom’s  early renewal of the league’s sponsorship, which the telecommunications company announced last week, had made things easier.

“The sponsorship deal has now been finalised and there is no reason why we should not start our season as early as we can.”

While the sponsorship for teams’ prize monies would remain M1 million, Vodacom also unveiled an additional avenue for revenue-generation for the 14 teams in the league. Under the initiative, clubs would receive Vodacom merchandise worth M800 000 to sell and raise funds.

“We are very grateful to Vodacom for renewing the sponsorship, particularly this new package that would see clubs getting M800 000 worth of containers, airtime and starter-packs to sell and raise additional revenue,” said Motsamai.

“Our negotiations with the company included finding a way to help our teams sustain themselves, but we did not expect them to go as big as they have done and we appreciate that effort.

“Going forward, we will have a number of workshops and courses with the teams as part of growing the brand and improving the administration part of the game.”

Motsamai also told the Lesotho Times that the PLMC is set to hold a club-licensing workshop for premier league and A Division clubs before the new season gets underway next month.

Meanwhile, Qoaling Highlanders and Nyenye Rovers would not be part of the premier league next season after ending the 2014/15 campaign bottom of the log, hence their demotion to the first division. Roma Rovers and Liphakoe would be replacing them in the topflight league following their respective wins of the A Division Northern and Southern streams.

Liphakoe secretary Rorisang Mosuoe said the decision by Vodacom to extend their relationship with domestic football was good news for clubs and Lesotho football in general.

“I think it’s a good platform to change the face of our football, especially smaller clubs such as Liphakoe, because it is very difficult to sustain teams throughout the season, hence we welcome the sponsorship and this M800 000 initiative,” he said,

“We know the painful experience of running a team without sponsorship from our time in the A Division last season. That’s why I’m confident this business opportunity clubs have been afforded by Vodacom is going to help immensely in the growth of our football.”

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