THERE were no major surprises in the opening weekend of the new-look Econet Premier League as defending champions Bantu led the way with almost half the total number of goals scored in six matches.
A Matšo Matebele made a bold statement of their intentions to retain their crown with a comprehensive 4-0 drubbing of new-boys Sefotha-Fotha Maputsoe DIFA Stadium.
Runners-up Lioli also underlined their own intentions by beating Sandawana 2-0 at Setsoto Stadium.
Nine goals were scored in total in the six matches that were played this past weekend.
And while Bantu and Lioli were winning to give the log a familiar look, Linare were also travelling down their own familiar, albeit embarrassing road of maladministration.
The Hlotse outfit turned up for their match against rookies, Majantja at Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Stadium with only 11 players. They had no substitutes and no technical team as they had not registered them in time for the match.
It may be a new season but we are already witnessing the same old problems in the Linare camp.
They roped in Teele Ntšonyana as coach during the second round of last season and he helped them narrowly survive the chop after Motlatsi Shale dumped them citing maladministration.
Shale even took the unprecedented step of lambasting the team’s management on national radio and this did not sit well with the latter and the fans.
However, it would seem that Linare management learned nothing and forgot nothing as it appears nothing has changed in their approach to handling the club’s affairs.
In addition to Sunday’s debacle, there are reports that players boycotted training last month to protest the club’s failure to give them allowances.
It is time Linare management woke up and smelt the coffee, otherwise this team will always be playing to survive the relegation.
It is so disappointing to see a team that challenged for league title in the 2014/15 season struggling this much.
Their struggles cannot be put down to lack of quality players or sponsorship as they have LNIG. It is down to poor management and unfortunately fans have to suffer the consequences.
I feel for those who put time and resources to travel about 200 kilometers from Leribe to Mohale’s Hoek just to watch the team lose more likely because of the club’s failure to have the full complement of players.
In the past four seasons Linare has lost key players to their rivals. The likes of Kopano Motaung, Tšiu Moorosi, Mabuti Potloane, Masilo Nnena, Basia Letuka and Khubetsoana Kamele have all dumped Tse Tala.
Linare are one of the biggest teams in Lesotho football history and to see them being run like a backyard shop is saddening and this is not good for the Leribe district and football in general. More so as it comes against the background of Econet Lesotho’s record breaking M500 000 winners’ purse.
Linare play Matlama at Maputsoe DIFA ground this afternoon.
LNIG have renewed their sponsorship of the club and hopefully they would have put their house in order and start showing some respect to fans and their sponsors.