MASERU — Lioli say they don’t have the money to pay the fines slapped on the club by the Premier League last week.
The defending league champions were ordered to pay a fine of M5 000 after the club were found guilty of instigating the violence that led to the abandonment of their match against Matlama in January.
The Premier League however suspended M2 500 of that fine unless Lioli commit a similar offence before June 30 2010.
This means Lioli, who insist they are not to blame for the Pitso Ground violence, are expected to pay only M2 500 by tomorrow.
The Premier League also ordered Lioli to pay for all the damages inflicted on vehicles belonging to Matlama officials and supporters.
Lioli public relations officer Moeketsi Pitso however told the Lesotho Times yesterday the team will not pay the fine or foot the bills for the damages because it does not have the money.
“We are unable to pay that fine by the set date because we do not have money,” he said.
Pitso said they had written to the Premier League informing the top-flight football authorities of the Teyateyaneng club’s predicament.
“We’ve written to them explaining that we do not have the money that is needed for us to pay all the fines,” he said.
Lioli are one of the few Premier League clubs with sponsors as well as huge followings.
However, Pitso during the interview could have inadvertently revealed the real reason the club will not be paying the fine or footing the cost of repairs.
He said he didn’t understand why Lioli should pay the fine when they had appealed against the verdict.
Initially the Premier League had failed to establish the cause of the violence and ordered Matlama and Lioli to replay the match which was abandoned 13 minutes from time with the former leading 3-1.
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) however overturned that ruling and awarded the match to Matlama.
The Premier League, following Lefa’s ruling, then fined Lioli.
Since then Lioli have been making desperate efforts to have Lefa reverse the decision.
“There is no understanding amongst us why we must pay these fines yet we’ve written to Lefa several times asking for an urgent meeting regarding this issue,” Pitso said.
“Yes, they told us that the fines are related to the Matlama match but we’ve not accepted the judgment.
“We are still appealing to Lefa over the judgment because we are not guilty as said.
“As a result we not going to manage to either pay this fine or meet Matlama officials because we do not have money.”