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Extra security at soccer matches

Teboho Molapo

MASERU — There will be extra security at all Vodacom Premier League games following increased incidents of violence at matches in recent months.
The added security measures were agreed upon by the Lesotho Referees Association (LRA) and Premier League management on January 14 after officials had boycotted two matches involving Majantja.
The importance of security has now been heightened further, following crowd violence at Pitso Ground last Sunday, which caused the abandonment of a league match between Matlama and Lioli.
The LRA’s public relations officer, Rethusitsoe Lebaka confirmed match officials would receive improved protection.
“The matter has been resolved and we will be provided with police protection. The agreement was that there should be police officers at all soccer matches. This has been confirmed by the police, so we are satisfied with the new arrangement. We don’t know about the number (of police officers); that will be down to the police,” Lebaka said.
Matches involving Majantja have been under the most scrutiny.
The Mohale’s Hoek outfit have had a number of incidents of crowd disturbances, with fans attacking referees after the team lost 2-3 to Linare on December 13, last year.
There were also unsavoury incidents when the team lost to LDF (at Ratjomose) and Likhopo (at the Central Prisons) on October 11 and November 8, respectively. As a result, officials boycotted Majantja’s games against Rovers and Swallows earlier this month but will officiate today’s match.
On the field, this afternoon’s clash is an important match for both sides as LMPS — in fiftth position and four points off pacesetters Lioli — look to keep-up with the top sides.
For Majantja who are second from bottom a win could see them climb out of the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, second-placed LDF host 10th-placed Swallows at Ratjomose while at Pitso Ground, Matlama host Nyenye Rovers.
Today’s fixtures:
Matlama vs Nyenye Rovers (Pitso Ground); Majantja vs LMPS (Mohale’s; Hoek); LDF vs Swallows (Ratjomose).

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