MASERU – The 2009/10 Buddie Premier League season will at last kickoff next weekend.
A start date of September 19 had been suggested at a special club conference two Sundays ago.
The kickoff has now been confirmed with the Premiership’s fixture list expected to be released by next week Monday at the latest.
The fixtures were in fact intended to be announced this week, and speaking to the Lesotho Times Premier League chairman Tlholo Letete said that could still happen.
“The (Premier League) committee met on Tuesday but were unable to compile the list. We are meeting again today, by Monday we should have a fixture schedule for the coming season,” Letete said yesterday.
The one-month delay to the opening of the league nonetheless is a major setback. Because 2010 is a World Cup year this season has to be completed by May.
“It means that the season is going to be very congested; we are going back to the situation where teams will have to play twice on weekends, which is something we did not want to do,” Letete said. “But definitely this will have to happen this year if we are to finish on time.”
When the fixture list is released it clubs will have under a week to plan for the season, a point that lamented by many sides.
“I can agree with them (to a point), but then I don’t know what clubs mean by not being ready because they know every team that will be in the league and where it plays,” Letete said.
“Like is I have said before the problem we had is that teams did not register on time,” he added. “The issue will be addressed; beginning next year there will be separate technical and administrative deadlines. Clubs will have to be registered by July 15, that will give us ample time so that by August (next year) we can start the league.”
Meanwhile details of Econet-Telecom’s sponsorship are yet to be finalised. Last year champions Lioli received M30 000 for their triumph.
Letete said details were still being discussed.
One thing that is certain is that Matlama will be part of the 16 team league. Matlama had had complications in the registration of their status. However league boss Letete said that this would not prevent Matlama from playing the league next year.
“I am not in a position to comment on what decision has been taken with regards to Matlama, but they are part of the Premier League. It doesn’t prevent them from being part of the league, they are an important part of the league,” Letete said.