THE curtain finally came down on the Econet Premier League yesterday and Bantu have made history as the first team to walk away with the improved M500 000 prize money.
There is no doubt that this was indeed a remarkable season on the domestic scene which was unfortunately marred by several controversies.
However, the announcement last year that Econet Lesotho were returning to sponsor the league with a staggering M6 million package spread over three years was undoubtably one of the highlights.
It was indeed clear from the start that every team would fight tooth and nail to lay their hands on the biggest chunk of the prizes.
It is sad to then say that while the teams were busy preparing for the new challenge, the football authorities seemed to lack planning.
Both the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) failed to adequately prepare.
The manner in which the two bodies have been handling all these controversies in the elite league tells the story of ill preparation.
The Lioli versus Bantu scandal is a wake-up call to LeFA that it is time that they stop registering players using baptism certificates which are easily forged and move to national identification.
The number of churches mushrooming daily tells you that the baptism certificates can be acquired from anywhere.
Apart from that there is the Sandawana which has resulted in the confusion characterising the promotion and demotion of teams into and from the premiership which is also worrying.
Sandawana were chucked out of the league for failure to fulfill three consecutive fixtures last year.
The communication has been poor resulting in the chaos that we see today with play-offs which are deemed unfair on the team that finished 12th in the league.
Had this been communicated earlier, the confusion could have been avoided.
The last thing that football lovers would want to see is Econet Lesotho walking away with its mouthwatering sponsorship for wanting to disassociate with a disorganised league.
Sponsors are on board only when their reputation is propped and not the reverse.
As I bow out this week may I appeal to the PLMC to improve its service in the coming season. Ever since Baitsi Motsamai left the general manager’s office, the daily running of the institution has been a cause for concern.
I understand that there is now duplication of duties at the institution with two officials hired to do a job that was previously done by one person. Why they are less efficient when they have more personnel is worrisome.
Communication to the teams and other stakeholders is always delayed up to the weekly fixtures and that is unhealthy for our football.