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Premier League honours Selepe

Teboho Molapo

 MASERU — Three Vodacom Premier League matches initially scheduled for yesterday have been moved to this afternoon in honour of one of Lesotho’s top match officials who died last month.

Mojalefa Selepe, 41, was buried yesterday in his home town of Maputsoe.

He died on October 28, five days after suffering a stroke.

A day before suffering the stroke, Selepe had handled what was to be his final match pitting Maduma against LDF in Khukhune.

That match was abandoned because of rain.

Selepe was one of Lesotho’s top match officials and was voted as the assistant referee of the tournament at last year’s Bambatha Tšita Top Mount Inter-District competition.

He began officiating in the Premier League in 2004 and became a regular fixture in the league’s big games.

To honour the assistant referee, the Premier League decided to cancel all matches scheduled for yesterday.

Instead, LMPS will now meet Maduma at Old Europa this afternoon, while Lioli host Mphatlalatsane in Teyateyaneng.

The other postponed match, featuring Likhopo against Lerotholi, will also be played today at Central Prison.

The highlight of today’s fixtures remains the clash between archrivals Linare and Matlama in Hlotse.

The two sides shared five championships in six years between 1977 and 1982.

Recent times have, however, been lean for Linare whose three titles came in 1973, 1979 and 1980.

But today’s match comes at a time all is not well in Matlama’s camp.

Former Matlama player Mahao Matete, who was hired as technical director last month, will take over the coaching reins after Mokoena Mohale quit the champions last week.

Matete becomes Tse Putsoa’s third coach this season following Mohale’s sudden departure and the sacking of Ntebele Taole last month.

Long-serving assistant coach Khotso Mokalanyane also jumped ship to compound matters at the Maseru club.

Key players including captain Nkau Lerotholi, Lehlohonolo Mokhele, Pali Tšalong and Liteboho Mokhesi have been absconding club duties over a bonus dispute dating back to Tse Putsoa’s league win in May.

None of them featured in Matlama’s Vodacom Soccer Spectacular campaign while Dlhomo Monapathi is understood to be becoming increasingly disillusioned and has been linked with a move to Lioli.

Matlama’s hopes now rest on their Lesotho youth internationals Litšepe Marabe, Tšoanelo Koetle, Motiki Mohale, Mohau Khali, Tau Qobose and Motlalepula Chabeli.

Tse Putsoa are lying in sixth place with five points.

They need a positive result to avoid falling off the pace set by first place LDF who are on 10 points.

Today’s is a rematch of last Saturday’s Soccer Spectacular semi-final in which Matlama beat Linare 2-0.

But Linare have made a promising unbeaten start to their premiership campaign and with an improved line-up including in-form Mabuti Potloane, Moses Ramafole, Molefi Mosebo they will be hard to beat.

Meanwhile, Vodacom Soccer Spectacular champions Likhopo will look to keep up their impressive form when they host Lerotholi at the Central Prison.

Likhopo are the only side in the country that is still unbeaten in all competitions.

They will be confident of beating a Lihale side that hasn’t won since a shock opening-day win over Matlama on September 11 and hasn’t played in a month.

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