PLMC must be proactive

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Moorosi Tsiane

LAST week I interviewed some premier league clubs’ bosses on the prevailing Covid-19 situation of in local football.

As things stand, football activities remain suspended in line with Covid-19 regulations.

Some said the premier league should just be cancelled while others it should continue once the restrictions are relaxed.

Our football season normally ends during the first weekend of May. Under normal circumstances, at this time of the year we would be deep in the second round but this time around, only four first round matches have been played.

One of the reasons for which the season is ended early in May is that this is the time when the winter season begins to set in. Days become shorter and teams will have less time to train. They will also need to use facilities with lighting for evenings, which are beyond their reach.

Now that it is clear that even if football is allowed to resume, the league would not have been completed by May, some think it must be cancelled instead of waiting for August.

Others have even suggested that only the second round should be played and the inner should then be declared.

This will surely be a difficult decision for the Premier League Management Committee (PLCM) but at the end of the day, they are expected to map the way forward.

If sports get a greenlight to resume, that will only be in during the second or third weekend of April and that is way too late.

On the other hand, teams are suffering because they haven’t been getting any revenue from gate takings; their main source of income.

On the other hand, teams are fighting with players who are demanding full salaries in line with their contracts even when they are dormant. After all what is dormant is football and not their survival needs.

My worry is that the PLMC does not seem to have learnt anything from last season’s experiences when they were caught off-guard.

They should have anticipated that we might face a second wave of Covid-19 which would force the suspension of sports and should have come up with a contingency plan.

This would help them avoid challenges similar to those faced last season with Matlama challenging the decision to crown Bantu the champions.

I am not surprised that by last week the PLMC had still not said anything to its teams since January when the league was suspended about how it intends to go forward. Neither has it sought the teams’ opinions.

This is pure dereliction of duty and it is clear that it is the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) which is driving the whole process.

If it were my choice, the league would resume as soon as possible and then only the first round would be played and the winner would be declared.

The PLMC should devise a way to share the prizes in consultation with the sponsors. This will enable the PLMC to start the 2021/22 season in August.

It is bad enough that our players went of almost a full year without competitive matches last year and we cannot consciously go the same direction when better decisions can be made.

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