MASERU — A year after their controversial arrival in the Premier League, Sekamaneng Young Stars are returning to the first division.
Young Stars will go down with one of the league’s worst ever records.
The Sekamaneng outfit have won just once in 27 league games this season and have garnered just seven points all term, 12 less than the next worst side, Majantja.
Young Stars have also conceded five or more goals in a match on five separate occasions, including a 7-0 thumping at the hands of LCS in February.
However, according to team coach Ketso Moletsane, Young Stars have been victims of bad refereeing decisions which he felt were deliberate.
“Sekamaneng Young Stars have been relegated by referees,” Moletsane told the Lesotho Times this week.
Moletsane took over the reins at the Sekamaneng outfit in January after then coach Mahlomola ‘Mota was suspended for two months for verbally abusing referee Lebalang Mokete during Young Stars’ 2-0 loss to Likhopo.
Moletsane handed back the reins to ‘Mota after Young Stars’ 6-0 loss to Linare at the end of April.
On Saturday Young Stars’ 3-1 loss to Lioli confirmed their relegation.
“On Saturday we scored first before the referee gave an offside goal and a ghost penalty,” Moletsane charged.
“It was the same referee that claimed ‘Mota had insulted him. He went there with vengeance in his mind.”
He added: “The problem is that referees in this country can do whatever they want and the kind of hearings that go on are a circus.
“I’m not complaining because we lost. We lost fairly against LMPS (1-0 in February) and the referee did a great job.
“But against LCS three of my players went off injured, one very seriously, yet LCS got no cards. Instead two of my players got sent off.
“Referees have an attitude towards promoted teams.
“The worst thing is that they do these things in front of senior Premier League officials.
“Thlolo Letete (Premier League chairman) was there when we played LCS and Lioli.
“They (referees) are ruining the league and more importantly destroying our football.
“Now they have relegated a team that may never come back again.”
LDF are also complaining about their fate.
On Sunday the army side had two players sent off as they lost 3-0 to title rivals Lioli at Ratjomose.
“The referee killed us,” LDF assistant coach Motheo Mohapi said.
Mohapi was himself dismissed from the technical area in the second half of the game.
He said he didn’t know why he was sent off.
“I don’t know what I did or said,” he said.
“Fine, I might have said something earlier, but when I got sent off I was sitting down on the bench watching the game.
“Lioli can never beat LDF 3-0. Anyone who wants to judge LDF cannot judge them on this game.”
Asked whether LDF were guilty of a physical approach against Lioli, Mohapi said: “No, I don’t think so. It was a big game and the referee spoilt it.”
With two games to go, LDF still have a chance of winning their first championship since 2004.
But Lioli, with a game in hand, are now favourites.
“These things are discouraging. We are just going to play,” Mohapi said.
“But we have to hope for favours from other teams.
“Just because Lioli have the best fans doesn’t mean they deserve to win the league.”