NATIONAL University of Lesotho (NUL) Spears Rugby Club chairperson Reatile Joele has accused Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general Litšitso Motšeremeli of using the federation to fight his personal battles.
This after the FLR cancelled the Econet League match between Spears and Roma Kings a fortnight ago.
According to Joele, they were notified just before the starting time of the match that their coach Alecs Basitang should not take part in the match as he had been “expelled” by the federation.
“We were told that our coach should not be part of the game because he has been expelled by the federation for tarnishing the its image,” Joele said.
This was shocking because it came just a few days after the chairperson’s forum resolved that Basitang should continue executing his duties until he has appeared before the forum along with Motšeremeli.
“The chairpersons’ forum called a meeting three weeks ago to hear what the fight between Basitang and Motšeremeli is about. Unfortunately, on the day of the meeting, Motšeremeli did not show up, so we couldn’t continue without him. It was then decided that Basitang continue with his work and should not in any way find himself involved with Motšeremeli.
“This is why it was shocking when we were told that he (Basitang) should not take part in our match. We registered our displeasure and the FLR decided to cancel the match.
“I suspect that there are personal clashes between Basitang and Motšeremeli and unfortunately, the latter is using his powers within the federation to fight his personal battles and it is wrong.”
Joele said the FLR should focus on running the league and stop interfering the running of the clubs.
“Basitang is our coach. We are happy with him, so the FLR should just leave him alone; focus on running the league and stop focusing on how we run our clubs. The federation gets its mandate from the clubs’ chairpersons but that does not appear to be the case now. We were very surprised when we were told that Basitang would not be allowed to take part in all the FLR’s activities because he was expelled in 2018.
“He has been here since 2015 and was sometimes involved with Maseru select, which is run by the federation directly. They never had issues with him and if they expelled him in 2018 like they are claiming, why have they been quiet about it all along?
“You can’t just wake up and expel someone without due procedure. We are not against them expelling him if there are grounds for it but due process must be followed. They must call a disciplinary hearing and give him a right to respond.”
Motšeremeli confirmed cancelling the match because “Spears refused to adhere to FLR rules”.
He however, directed the Lesotho Times to a Friday FLR statement.
The statement ordered among other things, that Basitang must stop communicating with FLR officials and refrain from speaking to media.
“…To refrain discussing matters related to the FLR on any media platform, to only operate within NUL Spears jurisdiction, to not communicate with any FLR officials in regards to rugby related matters,” the statement reads.