‘It’s a risk they are willing to take’
MATLAMA’S plan to approach the international Court of Arbitration (CAS) does not stop the Lesotho Football Association from enrolling Bantu into the CAF Champions’ League.
Matlama secretary general Tieho Phakisi made the statement this week.
On Monday LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed successfully enrolling Bantu for Champions’ League.
This is after Matlama president Paballo Makakole last week announced that they were planning to approach CAS seeking the reversal of LeFA’s decision to crown Bantu the winners of the Econet Premier League for the 2019/20 season.
“I don’t think there is anything preventing them from enrolling Bantu because the arbitration tribunal gives them a go ahead even though we made it clear that we would challenge the case,” Phakisi said this week.
“Maybe that is the risk they wanted to take and honestly we don’t have a problem with that but we will just continue with what we want to do.”
Tse Putsoa lodged a protest to the Disciplinary and Protests Committee (DISPROCO) in July this year following LeFA’s decision to end the league and crown Bantu the champions while not relegating the two bottom-placed teams on the log.
At the time the league was halted in March this year, Bantu were leading the Econet Premier League table with 50 points while second-placed Matlama had 36 points with eight games to go for both sides.
DISPROCO dismissed the protest but the country’s most successful side approached the appeal board which also threw the matter out.
Matlama then sought relief at the arbitration tribunal early last month. However, the tribunal also dismissed the matter with costs last Friday. And now Matlama is heading for CAS.
He said they had until Wednesday (yesterday) to file their case and the executive committee was racing against time to ensure that they follow proper procedures.
“Our lawyers have already drafted our case and now it is a matter of to whom and how do we pay the expected charges before we can file. Our accounts personnel have been working on that because we wanted to follow the proper procedure.”
Asked whether the case would not delay the start of the new season, Phakisi said their target was to ensure that laws are followed.
“We want to correct the wrongs that were done because we still believe laws were broken,” Phakisi said.