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Sefoli threatens court action against Lioli


Moorosi Tsiane

WANT out Lioli defender Thato Sefoli is threatening to approach football courts to compel the Teyateyaneng side to release him.

The South African defender asked Lioli to release him from his contract last month citing that the club had breached terms of his contract.

Sefoli, who joined Lioli in January last year from GladAfrica championship side, Real Kings, said Lioli has been failing to pay his full salary since last September.

In his letter to the Lioli management seen by the Sunday Express last month, Sefoli said he has been fully committed to the team and was disappointed that the team had failed him.

“I am writing this letter with a heavy heart, I loved the club and trusted that my contract would be respected as I always give my all to the club, be it in training sessions or playing matches,” Sefoli said.

“For the past five months, the club has failed to pay my full salary. Every time that I asked about my salary, the president (Lebohang Thotanyana) cites financial challenges.”

The towering defender’s contract is meant to lapse at the end of the 2021/22 season. The player is only getting half of his M10 000 salary. He said he only received 70 percent of his salary in November 2020.

In response, Lioli said it had not breached its contract because during the said period, the player was not rendering any services to the club.

The club said the player had also failed to follow due process in seeking to terminate his contract.

“We wish to take this opportunity sir to remind you that in terms of the termination clause of your contract with Lioli FC, you, as a player, can only terminate in the event of the club failing to meet its obligations under the contract and this after it has been given notice to remedy the said breach.

“In fact, the notice to remedy the breach should be in writing and you can only act on the said breach beyond a period of 14 days after the notice.

“It is our position… that we have not breached our contract with you in any manner whatsoever, as you know that during the period in question you were unable to render any services to the club due to the corona virus pandemic which resulted in the stoppage of games.”

But on Friday Sefoli said following an unsuccessful meeting with Thotanyana last week, he would soon approach football courts.

“We met this week but unfortunately we failed to reach a conclusion because I still want to go and want my money but Lioli is determined not to let me go supposedly because I owe them.

“My manager and I have therefore decided to approach the football courts.”

Asked whether or not he indeed owes the club, he said it was a matter for the courts to decide.

“I can’t comment on that for now but the reason we are seeking the courts’ intervention is because we want clarity and surely FIFA laws will help.

“I had an offer in South Africa which I have already lost because Lioli refused to release me. However, I am confident that I will get another offer. For now, I am going back to South Africa.”

On his part Thotanyana maintained that the player was the one who owes the club and they are prepared to go to court.

“He came here to apologies but I was surprised when his manager said they were taking us to court because we owe them when in fact, they owe us. But we don’t have any problem with that. We are ready to meet them in court once we are served.

“We have his recorded conversation here, he is still eager to return to the team but it looks like his manager has a different plan,” Thotanyana said.

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