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Local teams should not be selling players


LCS left-back Khoto Sesinyi and Lioli midfielder Thabile SeckerMoorosi Tsiane

It is offseason for domestic football and teams are busy on the transfer-market boosting their squads as they prepare for the new season set to get underway late next month.

However, with all the hustle-and-bustle going on among the various clubs, I have been asking myself so many questions regarding this issue of player-transfers.

I mean, is it fair for our teams to be selling players to each other considering the amateur standard of our topflight league, and where some clubs spend virtually nothing on the welfare of their players?

We have a 14-team premier league, but it is a known fact that many of the clubs are still very far from attaining the semiprofessional standard the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has been pushing for over the years.

Apart from the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS), who are government teams and can afford to look after their players, we only have Lioli, Sundawana, Likhopo and Bantu as the only other premiership clubs that pay players regular allowances. The likes of Matlama and Liphakoe also offer limited assistance to their players but due to funding challenges, cannot go all the way.

It is a positive sign that we have teams helping out their players, but what about the rest of the league?

Until we have a situation where teams have a semblance of professionalism, I strongly believe it is not appropriate for our clubs to be selling players they are not spending much on, if anything  at all.

It is a case of reaping where one did not sow, and this is not only morally wrong but often deprives the long-suffering players the chance of moving to clubs of their choice because of hefty price-tags slapped on them by their current team simply because teams need to sell players the way professional leagues do.

Professional teams have got to sell players to recover costs of developing the players, but our clubs hardly do anything for the youngsters save for paying paltry school-fees for them, in very few cases for that, which still does not justify selling them when they want to move.

The idea of transforming our premier league from amateur to semi-professional is an extremely good one, yet I also believe there are still too many things that need to be addressed before we can even start dreaming of turning pro and selling players.

And among those teething problems is the reluctance by the business community to invest in our teams and football in general, which has led to lack of infrastructure because the money to have decent stadiums, for instance, is simply not there.

Government has also not come to the party by injecting funding into football infrastructure, leaving our game in its current sorry state and the players unable to live off their God-given talent.

And without funding and proper stadiums, there is no way our football can transform and be at part with serious leagues elsewhere on the continent.

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