Bantu to be crowned champions this month
BANTU is set to be crowned the Econet Premier League 2019/20 season champions at the end of this month after the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) decided to end the season at the end of July 2020.
Likewise, all teams that are also leading their respective leagues will also be crowned champions.
LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi made the announcement during a joint media briefing with the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC), Econet Telecom Lesotho and LeFA at Bambatha Tšita on Thursday.
LeFA suspended all soccer activities in March on the back of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
When the leagues were suspended, Bantu were leading Econet Premier League with 50 points. Manonyane and CCX were leading the south and the north streams of the A Division respectively. LDF Ladies were leading the Women Super League with 36 points.
Bantu will be crowned the elite league champions for the fourth time while LDF Ladies will be crowned Women Super League champions for the third consecutive season.
Mohapi said following a series of meetings between LeFA and the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) a decision was finally reached that there should be no relegations this season. However, Manonyane and CCX from the PostBank A Division League will be promoted to the elite league.
This will increase the number of premier league teams to 16.
“Following a series of meetings between the LeFA national executive committee and the PLMC regarding the 2019/2020 season, the NEC has come up with the following resolution:
“The 2019/2020 season ends henceforth on 31 July 2020 with the log standings of the premier league, the A Division and the Women’s Super League remaining as they were when soccer was suspended.
“That Bantu FC are declared champions of the Econet Premier League and shall represent Lesotho in the CAF Champions League while both Manonyane and CCX who were leading the north and south streams of the A Division be promoted into the premier league and LDF Ladies FC are declared the winners of the Women Super League.”
Mohapi also said two teams from the B division will be promoted into the A division league.
“There will be no relegation from the Premier League, the A Division and Women Super League during the current season but two teams from the A Division will be promoted to the Premier League. Two teams from the B Division will be promoted to the A Division. As of the 2020/2021 season, until a different decision is reached, the Premier League shall have 16 teams…”
The current log standings will be used to determine the participants in competitions like the Top4 and Top8.
“The 2020/2021 season shall commence as soon as the government gives the greenlight for sports to start given the Covid-19 pandemic. However, you are all advised to consider 1 September 2020, as the tentative date for the beginning of the new soccer season.”
The B Division play-offs and the LNIG Top8 semifinal and final will be played as pre-season tournaments for next season.
Meanwhile, Econet Telecom Lesotho chief executive officer Dennis Plaatjies says his company is still interested in continuing to bankroll the elite league.
Econet’s three-year partnership with PLMC ends this month. The telecommunication giant injected M6 million for three years into the premier league. Apart from that, the company also sponsors the Econet Soccer Spectacular, a pre-season tournament, to the tune of M200 000.
“We have all been affected by this pandemic and as sponsors, we also thought that it will be fair to give teams their prizes in the hope that the money will help them assist their players.
“As much as we are all affected, Econet is still determined to continue sponsoring the league and the negotiations were already underway although nothing concrete has been reached so far. However, we will sit down again and map the way forward into next season,” Plaatjies said.