Transfer squabbles threaten local footballers’ careers

MASERU — The Premier League is in the middle of two transfer wrangles that have stalled player’s promising careers.
Joy midfielder Moli Lesesa, 26, and Mphatlalatsane young-shot Kopano Tseka, 18, have both been unable to play this season as clubs continue to bicker over their future.
Lesesa, a Lesotho international, is the subject of a tussle between Joy and Nyenye Rovers.
Meanwhile, Tseka is wanted by champions Lioli but his club have refused to let him go.
At the start of the 2007/08 season, the Premier League Management Committee introduced rules that govern player transfers, which were to be in line with the clubs’ income. The regulations also seek to guarantee compensation for clubs losing their prized talent. The rules set out fee guidelines based on the age of the player and number of years spent at the club.
The highest fee that can be paid, according to the rules, is M10 000 for a player between the ages of 23 and 28 years, and who has been with the club for over six years.
The highest-ever fee paid in Lesotho was M10 000, when LCS signed striker Lawrence Molengoane from Matlama in January this year. Coincidentally, Masheshena overpaid by at least M2 000 because Molengoane was 22 when he made the move.
Confusion has arisen now, with Joy and Mphatlalatsane holding out for huge amounts for Lesesa and Tseka.
Joy had originally slapped a M20 000 price tag on Moli Lesesa.
But Joy manager Tsepang Molapo is denying the impasse.
“If ever Moli was to come and talk to us, then we are willing to negotiate. But Moli is a special case, he is Joy,” Molapo said.
Lesesa has been with Joy since the club was formed in 2002, inspiring the unfashionable outfit to the Premier League in 2006. But after some stunning displays for his club — notably in Joy’s 2-2 draw against LCS in January — and Likuena, he attracted immense interest.
The nature of football in Lesotho means players cannot make a living off the game. So when Nyenye Rovers came in with the offer of a stable job and income — the reason why LCS, LDF and, to a lesser extent LMPS have been able to acquire Lesotho’s top players — it was almost inevitable that Lesesa would be interested.
Molapo’s sentiments imply Joy would only sell for a huge amount. But according to the rules, Nyenye Rovers have to pay between M7 001 and M10 000 for Lesesa’s services.
“It doesn’t have to be over M10 000, but if we can follow the rules and regulations, then we can negotiate,” Molapo said.
As an amateur league, there are no contracts — and, subsequently, transfer fees — for players. That is according to Fifa rules.
That is why former Matlama striker Lekhotla Pitso last month moved to Lioli for free after a protracted transfer-wrangle during the off-season.
The transfer guidelines were meant to prevent teams from demanding ridiculous fees, as clubs don’t even have income. Last month, Joy were reported to have demanded M20 000 from Nyenye Rovers for the services of Lesesa.
In the case of Tseka, his transfer fee should be between M2 001 and M4 000.  He has already trained with the champions and turned out in a pre-season friendly for Lioli against Mphatlalatsane.
Tseka’s case is now before the Disputes and Protests Committee, while the feuding clubs are set to meet on Saturday to discuss the Lesesa matter.

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