Matlama, LMPS clash in LNIG Top8

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Mikia Kalati

MATLAMA will begin their LNIG Top8 title defence against LMPS next month following this week’s draw at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

The tournament which features the previous Premier League season’s top eight is sponsored to the tune of M1 million by Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG).

The tourney kicks off on the 2nd of next month at LCS Ground, where Bantu will take on Majantja in the first quarterfinal while Matlama faces LMPS at the same venue.

The second day will see Kick4Life taking on LDF while Lioli clashes with LCS at Maputsoe DIFA Ground.

Speaking on behalf of LNIG managing director Ralitapole Letsoela, newly appointed Head of Sales and Marketing, Liepollo Tsekoa, said LNIG is proud to continue with their partnership with the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) in sponsoring the annual Top8 competition.

“We are proud as a Basotho owned company to continue with the partnership that we have with the Premier League by sponsoring the Top8 competition,” Tsekoa said.

“I know a lot of people are expecting to know about the prizes. As LNIG our investment for this year’s tournament is M1 million.

“There won’t be many changes to the monetary prizes because as a company we didn’t do well in the previous year and I hope you do understand that the sponsorship is not only about prizes for the teams but other logistics as well such as marketing of the tournament as well as buying playing outfits for the clubs.

“This is a big sacrifice for our company based on the recent economic meltdown and we also plead for support from Basotho because it’s only through their support that we are able to give back to the community and the sports fraternity.”

For his part, Premier League chairperson Ikarabelle Sello said they are happy to continue their partnership with LNIG.

Sello also urged Basotho to continue supporting the insurance company by buying its insurance policies.

“As PLMC, we are proud to continue our partnership with LNIG. The sponsorship is still the same as last year and that is proof that our sponsor is still committed to the game and it’s up to us as the football fraternity to also show more support to LNIG.

“I think we have to introspect and renew our vows with LNIG so that they can also benefit from the partnership. In the past all we did was to get the money from LNIG but we did not make an effort to help them also benefit from this partnership.

“For that, I feel we should do all that is possible on our side to ensure that we also return the favour of sponsorship,” Sello said.

The PLMC boss said that the three league matches that were played at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday is evidence that the game can grow with better planning.

“As we continue to look for ways to improve our football, over the weekend we held three matches at one venue I discovered that we have a lot of supporters willing to support our teams.

“Maybe league teams have not done enough to bring people to the stadiums. My plea to our fourteen league teams is to explore all that is available to them to bring back supporters in big numbers to help the clubs survive.”

He also lamented over the challenges that were encountered by the teams when they were locked out of the stadium over a payment misunderstanding. He said the behaviour of locking teams out of the stadium was counterproductive.

“It’s a shame that people that are supposed to assist in growing the standards of the game are pulling us backwards.

“We have already requested that the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) assists us so that we can work together to develop local football.

“I however, want to thank LNIG and hope that our partnership continues for a long time. We have already tabled our request to them on how to improve this partnership and hope that we will go back to the negotiation table once this year’s tournament ends,” Sello said.

The winners of the tournament will pocket M100 000 while runners-up will take home M80 000.

Third and fourth placed teams will walk away with M60 000 and M50 000 respectively while the four teams that will be eliminated in the quarterfinalist will each get M30 000.

The competition will also have individual awards for player of the tournament and top goal scorer each pocketing M3 000.

The goalkeeper and coach of the tournament will each pocket M2 000 while the referee and assistant referee of the tournament will get M2 500 and M1 500 respectively.

The tournament will also include an under-17 edition for all the participating teams.

Individual awards

Player of the Season-M 3000

Top Goal scorer-M3 000

Goalkeeper of the Season M2000

Coach of the Season-M2000

Referee of the Season-M2500

Assistant Referee of the season-M1500

Fixtures

2 March

Bantu v Majantja

Matlama v LMPS

3 March

Kick4Life v LDF

Lioli v LCS

 

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