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Bantu boss cries foul


…accuses Likuena coaches of victimszing his players

Moorosi Tsiane

Bantu president, Leuta John Leuta, says he is worried about the way their players are being treated in the national team and has vowed to “get to the bottom of the problem”.

Leuta feels the players are being given a raw deal since Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete was appointed interim coach in January last year following Leslie Notši’s departure for Garankuwa United in the South African first division.

Goalkeeper Liteboho Mokhesi was the first to complain and refuse call-ups, saying he “wanted things to be done in a professional way because I believe players must be treated the same. When players are called for national duty, there are letters that are sent to their respective teams and workplaces asking for their release but it was never the same case with me after I had left Matlama.”

However, the goalminder finally relented and was part of the Lesotho team which played in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Angola, Burkina Faso and Gabon.

Another Bantu player, 2014/15 Vodacom Premier League top-scorer Litšepe Marabe, has also been left out of the national team currently preparing for the Cosafa tournament scheduled for Rustenburg, South Africa due to “indiscipline”.

Bantu right-back Sepiriti Malefane was also dropped from the national team last week because he had reported late for camp, yet other players who came after him were “forgiven”.

According to Leuta, these are worrying developments which he would want properly explained by the relevant authorities as he felt Bantu players were being victimised for some reason by the national team coaches.

“It really worries me how our players are being treated by the national team coaches, and the worst part is as Bantu president, I don’t even know why this is happening. If it’s really an issue of discipline, I have the right to know as the president of the team. The other issue is of the players’ call-up to the national team. Like now, I only heard that Thapelo Mokhehle had been called-up but I don’t know how because there was no formal communication. Again as a team, we don’t know why both Sepiriti and Marabe were dropped; nobody bothered to tell us the reason and we only came to know about it through the media,” fumed Leuta.

“What’s also interesting is for the past two or three seasons, I have bought several players who were regulars in the national team, but to my surprise, they were immediately dropped after joining us. Do they suddenly lose form once they join us to warrant being dropped or what?”

Leuta said he had since assigned Bantu technical director, Mosito Matela, to meet with the relevant stakeholders and find out what was happening with their players.

“I am in Bloemfontein now so I have assigned our technical director to go and find out what is really happening because I think this is now getting out of hand,” said Leuta.

“It is really disturbing to us as a team and if we refuse to allow them to go to the national team because of this ill-treatment, we will be accused of being unpatriotic yet it would be in retaliation to the abuse our players are being subjected to.”

Asked to comment on Leuta’s allegations yesterday, Matete terminated the call without responding and repeated efforts to get him again were fruitless as he was no longer answering the phone.

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