MASERU — Two teams that will end the 2012/13 season at the bottom of the Vodacom premier league will not be automatically relegated. Instead the Premier league has thrown them a lifeline by ensuring they take part in the promotion-relegation play offs.
Currently Nyenye Rovers and Mpharane Celtic occupy the last two positions in the premier league and could find themselves fighting for their premier league status against the two runners-up from the Southern and Northern stream of the A Division. Qoaling Highlanders and Matlama are also still in danger of playing in the playoffs at the end of the campaign.
PLMC public relations officer, Mosito Lekholoa, told the Sunday Express, that the two teams that will be occupy the two bottom positions at the end of the season have been given a lifeline to contest for their premiership status in the playoffs. “The premier league is going to increase the teams from 12 to 14 in the new season, this is why things are being done differently in the current campaign,” Lekholoa said.
Mphatlatsane have already regained promotion to the premier league after ending the season as champions of the A Division league and will be joined by the other team that will end as winners in the Southern stream. “The standard of our league has not being satisfying and we believe that increasing the numbers will create more competition in the league,” Lekholoa said.
“Usually by June our league would have already ended which we feel is not helping the progress of football in the country because by then the national team, Likuena, will be playing World Cup qualifiers while the players are already rusting at their homes.” He added: “This has been a concern within our football structures and we are trying to find a solution for it.”
The league season ends on May 18 and Likuena have tough World Cup matches against Zambia on June 8 and Ghana a week later at Setsoto Stadium. Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) technical director, Seephepe Matete, said the move may be a good decision, but it will also require more facilities and sponsors. “The more teams and the more players we have in the league means more talent and a big pool of players for the national team selectors,” Matete said.
“The players get a chance to improve once they get more time to play competitive football.”
He said the negative side of having a big league is when there are no resources and sponsors to cater for the needs of football and footballers.