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‘Koetle eligible to play in January’

Moorosi Tsiane

LIOLI midfield kingpin Tšoanelo Koetle finally got a lifeline after the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) declared him eligible to start playing for his side from January next year.

The former Likuena midfielder has been in the limelight since he was accused of refusing to undergo a drug test a year ago.

Koetle was last year set to appear before a disciplinary hearing that was to be convened by the Lesotho National Olympic (LNCO) in its capacity as the local National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).

The player has also been side-lined from national duty pending finalisation of the case.

The LNOC was mandated by the World Anti-Doping Agency but Lioli challenged the matter through the country’s courts and won the case to have its player back in action during the 2017/18 season.

The matter has now reached FIFA and LeFA had instructed Lioli not to use the player this season.

But the first case regarding Lioli taking the football matter into the courts of law was held at the start of this month with the judgment being given last week.

LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed to this publication that indeed Koetle is now free to play for his side but warned that this is also pending FIFA’s ruling on the matter.

“Of course, the judgment was made and Koetle’s suspension has been lifted so starting in January next year he will be free to play for his side,” Mohapi said.

“The player had pleaded guilty for refusing to take the doping. So, the case has been settled out of court and the judgment was reached.”

He further said that Lioli were also fined M15 000 for taking football matters to the country’s courts and have also been instructed to have their High Court judgement which was in their favour set aside.

“Lioli were also found guilty of taking football matters to the country’s courts and they have been fined M15 000,” continued Mohapi.

However, Mohapi emphasised that Koetle still has cases to answer at the LNOC while they are still waiting for FIFA’s ruling on the already passed judgment.

“This case involves so many things and this judgment was solely based on Lioli taking the football matters to the courts of laws so there is still a disciplinary case under FIFA for the said player and anti-doping case before both FIFA and LNOC so the two bodies will give the final decision on the fate of the player,” Mohapi said.

Meanwhile, Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana professed ignorance on the developments.

Thotanyana said the last time he heard anything regarding the case was when they were told that LeFA was still discussing the case with FIFA.

“I am not aware of any judgement regarding the matter. The last time I heard about it I was told that LeFA was still discussing with FIFA. I will have to check with our lawyer,” Thotanyana said.



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