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Lioli coach faces axe

by Lesotho Times

MASERU – Lioli head coach Halemakale Mahlaha could be axed following a string of poor results, the Lesotho Times has learnt.

Sources within the Teyateyaneng giants said all was not well within the Lioli camp.

The club held a crisis meeting at Maseru Club on Sunday following a dismal 3-1 loss to Joy the previous week.

But Lioli club president Lebohang Thotanyana downplayed the significance of the meeting insisting there was no crisis within the club.

“It was not as much a crisis meeting, we were meeting as the stakeholders of the club to find a way forward,” Thotanyana said.

Thotanyana was non-committal on the future of Lioli’s coaching team.

Tse Nala have endured a shocking drop in form over the past three months which has seen their title hopes all but vanish.

Lioli are languishing in eighth place in the Vodacom Premier League and although there is still half of the season to go, their tally of 15 points is a
distant nine behind leaders Bantu.

As a result there has been mounting pressure on the technical team headed by Mahlaha to either improve results on the field or face the sack.

Thotanyana said the executive was not happy with the style of play employed this season and had communicated this to the technical team.

“Our performance is not good and we will do whatever it takes to get it back,” Thotanyana said.

“We sat down and spoke to different stakeholders, we are still talking and we don’t want to speculate.”

He added: “We are not interfering. The fact is that every club has its own style of play,” Thotanyana said.

Lioli have won just twice in their last seven league outings and are on a two-match losing streak following defeats to Bantu and Joy.

The form is not in line with the club’s vision.

Lioli have resorted to the cheque book over the past two years in an effort to be Lesotho’s top club.

Tse Nala bought Seenyane Nthejane for M6 000 last season and spent heavily to lure Montoeli Sonopo to the club this term.

Lioli also brought back Motlalepula Mofolo from South African glamour side Orlando Pirates.

But the club’s strategy, which includes winning trophies and crucially playing in continental competitions, is very much under threat.

Tse Nala are the only side alongside struggling Mphatlalatsane without an away win all season.

Meanwhile sportswear supplier TPT Suppliers claims they are owed M28 000 by Lioli.

Speaking to the Lesotho Times TPT owner Thapelo Tanka alleged the amount stemmed from a deal to supply Tse Nala with boots which was struck last October.

“We supplied them with boots and they said they would pay before December and until now they haven’t paid. They say they don’t have money right now,” Tanka said.

In response Thotanyana said he was not aware of the company or any deal.

“I don’t know of such a company, Lioli is a responsible club. Maybe it was with one of our development programmes. We will have to find out if there is a problem,” he said.

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