PLMC endorses Bantu for Champions’ League participation
THE Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) has officially forwarded Bantu’s name to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) for CAF Champions’ League participation.
The PLMC had earlier said it would wait for the finalisation of the protracted case where Matlama is challenging LeFA’s decision to end the soccer season prematurely and crown Bantu the Econet Premier League champions.
The league was ended on 31 July 2020 and Bantu were leading the league race ahead of Matlama by a staggering 16 points. LeFA decided to end the season because of the Covid-19 pandemic which had forced the association to suspend soccer activities since March.
When the league action was suspended, Bantu was leading the 14-team league table with 50 points while second-placed Matlama were second with 34 points. Both sides still had eight matches to go.
Tse Putsoa decided to challenge LeFA’s decision and has since lost the case thrice at the Dispute and Protest Committee (DISPROCO), the appeal board and arbitration tribunal.
But Matlama president Paballo Makakole last week said they would take the matter to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
It was against this background that the PLMC was still to register a Champions’ League team.
“We met on Thursday and agreed to forward Bantu’s name to LeFA for them to register it for the Champions’ League because they are the champions according to LeFA’s resolutions,” PLMC spokesperson Moeketsi Ramakatsa said.
“From the onset, it was the PLMC which recommended to LeFA to end the league and crown Bantu the champions, so we still stand by that and support LeFA.”
Ramakatsa said Matlama’s case has nothing with Bantu being crowned champions but they were just unhappy with the process.
“From as far as I remember, it was never about who was being crowned the champion but rather the procedure. That was beyond us because LeFA was within its rights to make that decision and we support it.”
Ramakatsa said he was confident that by Tuesday, the deadline of the submission, LeFA would have submitted the name to CAF.
“I don’t want to get much into the Matlama case because I feel it is not our place to comment. I can only say by Tuesday, we would have registered a team in the competition.”
Meanwhile, Bantu started its preparations last week and is now awaiting the preliminary draw.
The preliminary stages of the tournament are expected to start on 20 November with the second leg of that round to be played a week later.