Koetle axed from Likuena

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Tsoanelo Koetle of Lesotho challenged by Zweli Nxumalo of Swaziland during the 2015 Cosafa Cup match between Lesotho and Swaziland at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Tsoanelo Koetle of Lesotho challenged by Zweli Nxumalo of Swaziland during the 2015 Cosafa Cup match between Lesotho and Swaziland at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg

Star midfielder kicked out of national team after bitter row over allowances

Mikia Kalati

Star midfielder Tšoanelo Koetle was booted out of the national team this week after a bitter row with the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) over allowances.

Koetle bitterly complained about the M200 daily allowance each player was supposed to receive while in the Seychelles for Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, leading to his dismissal from the team.

The Lioli playmaker was immediately replaced by Matlama captain Phafane Tšosane with the team leaving yesterday for the crunch tie whose outcome could decide Lesotho’s fate in the competition, in which they are bottom of four-team Group J after losing all their two opening matches, against Ethiopia and Algeria.

According to LeFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, the dispute with Koetle started after the team’s supper on Tuesday, which left the association with no choice but to send him home.

“The reasons for his release are that he was instigating rebellious conduct within the team…. Koetle was requesting allowances that are not within the Lesotho Football Association’s structure.

“Phafa Tšosane has been re-called to the team as a replacement. The league and Lioli FC have been informed about this development.

“Koetle’s behaviour comes after ex-Likuena players were given the balance of their allowances on Friday last week. LeFA is grateful to the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sport and Recreation for having finally disbursed the final installment of the allowances,” read a statement released by Mohapi yesterday.

While Mohapi was not in a position to reveal how much the former Likuena members received for the  Ethiopia, Algeria and two Zimbabwe matches, the Lesotho Times was reliably informed each of the players was given M15 000.

Repeated attempts by the Lesotho Times to get Koetle’s side of the story were fruitless.

However, a member of the national team who spoke to the Lesotho Times on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, said both parties were to blame for the way things ended of Tuesday.

“I think Koetle should have been humble in voicing his dissatisfaction about the allowances. However, LeFA should also come up with clear policies that will make each of us understand this issue of allowances. How and when we are to be paid, and also how much, should be communicated to us well in advance not when we are about to leave. This is not the first time this allowance issue has rocked our camp and it will not be the last until LeFA put their house in order and communicate the issue clearly and well in advance,” the player said.

“Again, if LeFA want good results, they should give us better allowances to keep us motivated.”

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