Off the field incidents spoiled the fun


Mikia Kalati

THE curtain comes down on a controversy ridden Econet Premier League season this weekend.

Bantu will be handed their silverware having successfully defended the title, which they won with two games to spare.

However, A Matšo Matebele will be the first to admit that their long ongoing case over the use of more than the five stipulated foreign players killed the vibe of what could have been an exhilarating season.

Like I have said in previous editions of this column, I salute James Madidilane and his charges for their unrelenting spirit to grind results on the field of play despite the cheating scandals.

They played most of the second round without two of their key players, Thabo Selisa and Itumeleng Falene, who are among those that were adjudged illegally registered and were subsequently deregistered by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA).

I must admit, the combination of Madidilane and his assistant coach, Bob Mafoso, has been the best recipe in the success that the Mafeteng outfit has seen over the last two years.

They are both humble young men who are passionate about the game.

They have been able to manage the Bantu dressing room so well that even during the tough times they still managed to get the best out of the players.

The one thing that we cannot take away from Bantu is the unity in their dressing room and of course the support of their management and the supporters.

We still wait to see what action will eventually be taken by the Premier League Management (PLMC) and LeFA after the football courts instructed them to take action.

There was also an issue of Sandawana, who were early this season withdrawn from the league after failing to honour fixtures.

In the same way, I still feel that this matter was not handled properly by both the PLMC and LeFA.

It was a good idea to have two runners-up from the A Division to play in play-offs with the bottom placed team in the league to fill the void left by Sandawana but the communication was shambolic.

This matter should also have been finalised the moment Sandawana were booted out of the league and not to wait until the final stages of the season as has been the case.

Sandawana owner, Thato ‘Sandawana’ Nkone dug his own grave by hiring Spanish coach, Antonio Jesus Flores without a sound strategy to turn his side into a dominant force.

The team did not the necessary financial footing sustain a foreign coach coupled with a foreign coach from Europe.

Lioli also had a disappointing season considering the standards that the side has set in previous campaigns.

Tse Nala has to go back to the drawing board and correct all the wrongs that we have all seen this season.

As for Matlama, there are lot of positives to be taken forward though the club is still not yet where it should be for a team that has the most league titles in the country.

They still have work to do on and off the field in terms of marketing their brand and of course the consistency on the field of play.

The same goes for LDF and LCS. These sides also a great history of bagging trophies but all they have been fighting for is to be among the top four and top eight teams by the end of the season.

Linare continue to disappoint and the folks from Leribe District must be feeling let down.

Going for three decades without a major trophy is bad for Tse Tala and it does not look like it will end any time soon with the club once again fighting for a top eight spot this season.

Something has to be done to revive this team in order to give the coaches the resources to compete.

Liphakoe and Majantja also have to put in more work on growing their brands and improve the way Bantu has done.

Our football is always at its best when we have all the teams coming from the districts performing very well.

Its only then that they can be able to produce top players such as Thulo Leboela, Lekoane Lekoane and Lehlohonolo Seema who went on to ply their trade in South Africa.

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