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Melele ponder options after M20 000 fine

Moorosi Tsiane
Maseru

mositoRELEGATION-THREATENED Melele are unhappy with the M20 000-fine the club has been slapped with by the Premier League management for two counts of misconduct.

The Qacha’s Nek-based outfit have been punished for attacks on match officials by their fans and players during league matches against Qoaling Highlanders and Mpharane Celtics, which took place a fortnight ago and last weekend, respectively.

The assaults, in which the officials were being accused of bias, led to the abandonment of both ties against the run of play, with Melele trailing 1-2 against Highlanders and 0-1 versus Celtics.

However, a senior member of the club’s executive, Molefe Nthabane, told the Sunday Express he believed the club was being unfairly treated because it is considered a minnow and is located in a remote district of the country.

“There is this feeling within the team that we are being unfairly treated, as has always been the case with clubs believed to be from the remote districts of the country,” Nthabane said.
Nthabane also said the club management is yet to meet and decide on the course to take since the judgment was only handed down this week.

“We still have to examine our position as a team, so I cannot tell now whether we will be appealing the judgment or not,” said Nthabane.

Premier League spokesperson, Mosito Lekholo, a confirmed Melele — which gained promotion at the start of the season after winning the Southern Region A Division and have only won one and drawn four of their 17 league matches, leaving them bottom of the 14-team table — have been fined M10 000 for each of the two cases of violent conduct.

Lekholoa further said the club have 14 days to pay their debt from judgment day, which was March 26, while both Highlanders and Celtics were given three points on 3-0 score-lines.
“It is true Melele have been fined because they were found guilty, based on reports submitted by all the
stakeholders involved in the two cases.

We usually give teams seven to 14 days to pay their fines, so the same rule will also apply here,” said Lekholoa. Again, both Highlanders and Celtics have been given three points and three goals, with the three Melele players involved in the assaults also being suspended for three matches.”

Lekholoa said the league hopes the judgment would act as a deterrent to other teams in the league.
“The league cannot tolerate this kind of hooliganism and such judgments are made to deter other teams from engaging in such deplorable behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Likhopo have been fined M4 000 with the half of the fine suspended after manager Qamako Mahao and interim coach Tšeliso Mofolo, were found guilty of attacking match officials in the team’s 0-2 loss to Linare last Saturday.

The two officials also have been suspended for two games and barred from watching any local Premier League matches during this period.

While Lekholoa could not be drawn to comment on the widespread condemnation of the poor standards of refereeing in the Premiership, the Sunday Express has since established the league management will soon meet all the country’s referees to chart the way forward.

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