TEN Premier League teams have petitioned the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) to address their grievances before the resumption of league games on 15 May 2021.
The PLMC met on Wednesday and concluded that league matches must resume on 15 May, thereby giving teams two weeks to prepare.
The PLMC informed the teams that the league will resume in a fortnight starting with the catch-up tie between Lifofane and Lioli on 12 May.
However, teams are lamenting that the time they have been given to prepare is inadequate. They also want the PLMC to pronounce itself on its plans for the league calendar for the duration of the upcoming COSAFA Cup. Some of the teams are also complaining that they use students who may not always be available for some of the congested matches because of their academic commitments.
The teams namely, Lioli, Liphakoe, LCS, Manonyane, Lifofane, Linare, Sefothafotha, Matlama, CCX and Swallows have asked the league chairpersons’ forum to intervene in the matter.
League teams’ chairpersons’ forum chair Lebohang Thotanyana told the Sunday Express on Friday that they were surprised by the manner in which the decision regarding the resumption of the league was reached.
According to Thotanyana, the teams had previously asked the PLMC to shed light on how player registrations and movements are going to be handled for the winter transfer period. The teams also want the PLMC to relook at its congested fixtures given that some teams will end up sending players for the COSAFA Cup with the national team.
“The teams are petitioning the PLMC over its decision and have asked the forum to intervene as they feel the decision was imposed on them,” Thotanyana said.
“The PLMC takes its mandate from the chairpersons, so it does not have the right to impose decisions on teams. Rather, we must give answers and clarifications where needed. The teams have asked for clarity on how things are going to work. We need things to be very clear on what is going to happen with the players transfers, the issue of Likuena going to COSAFA and the congested fixture.
“The PLMC doesn’t have clear answers, so 10 teams have signed a petition already and we have submitted it to the office of the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) president (Salemane Phafane) and the PLMC chairperson Mosa Seoli,” he said.
He emphasised that teams were not against the resumption of the league but just want clarity.
PLMC spokesperson Qamako Mahao on Friday confirmed the committee’s meeting. He however, rebutted claims that the committee did not consult before making its decisions.
“It is not true that we did not consult the teams because we called them to the meeting and it was only Lioli and Liphakoe who had problems with the resumption of the league. The rest of the teams agreed with the decision.
“The PLMC is responsible for running the league and the responsibility lies solely on the committee and not the chairpersons’ forum. We don’t need to consult the forum on anything.
“For the transfer of players, it was agreed with LeFA that they would give us time to allow player movements but the issue of players contracts doesn’t involve us, it is between the players and the teams,” Mahao said.
In the case of the COSAFA tournament, Mahao said Likuena has always being playing regional tournaments and that has never been a problem before.
“People are pushing their own agendas and want to hide behind lame excuses. Likuena has been playing international matches and that has never been a problem because the rules and regulations are clear on what should be done. A team that has more than two players in the national team knows what to do…
“We have learnt that some of the teams have internal problems, so they want to hide behind Likuena to push for the non-resumption of the league… Yes, there will always be challenges but not resuming the league is also a challenge on its own,” Mahao said.
“These are premier league teams and we can’t hide behind using students to force the non-resumption of the league. That is the PLMC’s choice to use students but the teams’,” Mahao said.