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Uncertainty over football awards

by Lesotho Times
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Mikia Kalati

The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) has still not confirmed a date for the 204/15 season awards presentation ceremony.

However, the topflight league is hoping the first week of June could be suitable for the ceremony, during which players and match officials who excelled during the just ended season would be rewarded.

According to the league’s general manager, Baitsi Motsamai, the national team’s hectic programme had made it difficult to come up with a definite date for the awards presentation ceremony. The national team, Likuena, are currently preparing for the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament to be held from 17-27 May in South Africa, as well as the 2017 African Nations Championship (CHAN) and Africa Cup of Nations Afcon) qualifiers which get underway next month.

Motsamai emphasised the need to ensure all the winners and various stakeholders are available on arguably domestic football’s special night hence finding a suitable was proving a bit challenging.

“If you recall, the national team has a busy schedule starting with the Cosafa Cup, which is to be followed by Afcon and CHAN qualifiers, so it’s important to find the right date for the awards presentation ceremony,” Matsamai said.

“We are in discussion with officials from Vodacom, as the sponsors of the league and the awards, as well as the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa), to find a date that will suit all the relevant parties.  This is a special night for local football so we would want to ensure that everything goes according to plan,”

Among the players expected to walk away with individual awards is the league’s top scorer, Litšepe Marabe, who struck 22 goals for Bantu, and the Lioli duo of Jerry Kamele and Tšoanelo Koetle who are strong contenders for the player of the season award. Marabe, Matlama skipper Phafa Tšosane and last year’s winner of the award, Mabuti Potloane, are also possibles for the gong, which carries a M2000 monetary prize.

Lioli’s  Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu, is favourite for the coach-of-the-season award after leading Tse Nala to the league title and Independence Cup in a very impressive campaign for the Teyateyaneng-based outfit.

Motsamai said a shortlist of nominees for each category would soon be announced.

“We will soon reveal the shortlist for the awards as we have a panel that will be working on it,” said Motsamai.

On the issue of sponsorship next season, Motsamai said the PLMC was hoping Vodacom would continue bankrolling the league next season. The telecommunications giant, which started sponsoring the league in 2009/10, extended the deal by one season last year.

“We are still in talks with Vodacom to see if they can continue sponsoring the league championship. We remain confident of a new, better and bigger deal with Vodacom. We all hope our partnership will continue and that will remain on board,” he said.


Vodacom Premier League prizes at a glance

Teams: Winners-M200 000; runners up-M100 000; third place-M80 000; fourth-M60 000; teams on positions five to eight each get M40 000; nine to 12 each pocket  M30 000, and  13-14 each take home M25 000. Fair Play team award-M2000.

Individuals: Player of the season, players’ player of the season, top goalscorer, young player of the season, goalkeeper of the season, and coach of the season each takes home M2000.

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