MASERU — Mafeteng-based giants Bantu have been slapped with a M5 000 fine after their fans went on the rampage and assaulted a referee last month.
Bantu’s fans attacked and assaulted referee, Makhetha Patšoane, during the club’s three-all draw against Mpharane Celtic in a league match in Mafeteng a fortnight ago.
A Matšo Matebele will also have to pay a suspended fine of M5 000 over a previous case.
Premier league public relations officer, Lekholoa Mosito, told the Sunday Express that the Mafeteng-based outfit will have to pay fines totalling up to M10 000.
“Bantu have been ordered to pay M10 000 in fines, the M5 000 is for the suspended fine during the Independence Cup and the other M5 000 is for their fans’ assault on a referee some week backs,” Mosito said.
“They also have to play their home matches outside Mafeteng and are also expected to pay all the medical bills of the assaulted referee.”
He said the league has also banned the star-studded side from using their Mafeteng home ground for the rest of the season.
Mosito said half of the ban is suspended, meaning Bantu could only use their home ground for the second round provided they do not commit a similar offence.
“We also expect them to come hard on the individuals that attacked the referee once they have been identified,” said Mosito.
Lesotho Referees Association chairman, Baba Malephane, told this paper that they had expected the league to hand a bigger punishment to Bantu.
“We accept that something should be done to correct hooliganism in our football, but we expected a severe punishment that will make Bantu’s supporters respect our referees,” said Malephane.
“The life of a human being was in danger and I had expected the premier league to come harder on them. It is really a concern because there have been a number of reported incidents and we should all stand up to fight this problem.”
Malephane, who is also Lefa’s public relations officer, said the referees’ association will meet with both the premier league management committee and the A Division body to find a way forward to fight violence at football matches.