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Malefane still grounded after Likhopo fallout


Moorosi Tsiane

Sepiriti Malefane’s planned move to reigning Premier League champions, Bantu, is still in limbo, with Likhopo claiming the national team defender is contracted to the club until May 2016.

The 20-year-old Tšenola-born player was supposed to join Bantu as a free agent during the August transfer-window period, only for Likhopo to block the move because of the contract.

According to Bantu secretary general, Khabisi Molantoa, talks between the two clubs aimed at resolving the issue did not take place on Friday as expected.

“We are working on the issue with Likhopo management. The meeting that we had set for today did not materialise, and hopefully, the issue is going to be resolved next week and the player will start playing for us,” Molantoa said.

Likhopo did not register the player for the 2014/15 football season, which means he is yet to play competitive club football this season.

According to Likhopo team manager, Qamako Mahao, Likhopo did not register Malefane after the player made it clear he wanted to leave the club.

“We could not register him; he showed no interest in us so we advised him to find himself a team. Bantu have shown interest in the player and we have since told them how much we want for him. We will meet with their officials next week, and then see how the deal is going to go,” Mahao said.

Malefane, on his part, told the Sunday Express that the dispute with Likhopo had left him frustrated.

“I expected the issue to have been resolved by today, Friday, and had been include in Bantu’s 18-member squad which was supposed to go into camp for Sunday’s match. But because the issue has not been resolved, this is no longer possible.

“This whole thing has left me frustrated and all I want is for it to end so that I can start playing football,” he said.

Malefane however, said he does not think lack of competitive action is going to affect him once he is cleared to play.

“I don’t think my performance will be affected because I have been training on my own to ensure that I maintain my fitness,” said Malefane.


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