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LeFA not worried by FIFA-Lioli melee

Business

…as soccer body’s SG maintains that they were not notified

Chris Theko

Secretary General of the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Mokhosi Mohapi says they are not bothered by the decision of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to order Premier League side Lioli to pay defender, Thato Sefoli M73 000 since they had not been notified.

This after the South Africa-born player’s agent Taelo Motloung indicated that per the FIFA directive, should the team fail to comply with the order within the stipulated 45 days, LeFA could be impacted negatively.

“Should they continue to ignore the judgement and directive by FIFA, LeFA as an association that governs football matters in Lesotho could be implicated and the national team might face suspension from international competitions,” said Motloung.

However, in a separate interview with this publication, Mohapi insisted that although they had been privy of the latest details of the FIFA-Lioli correspondence on the matter, LeFA will not be impacted in any manner on the matter. 

“We did receive a copy of the correspondence from FIFA but it is unfortunate that Lioli has not come to seek advice from LeFA.  The issue will, therefore, not affect the association because the club has not bothered to make us aware of the situation,” Mohapi said. 

Sefuli joined Tse Nala-as the TY-based team is affectionately known-from South African GladAfrica championship side, Real Kings, in January last year but did not enjoy game-time due to the Covid-19 outbreak which had forced a complete outage to all economic activity including sports in the country.

He then accused Lioli of contravening its contractual obligations to him after failing to pay him his full salary since September 2020.

He had then lodged a complaint with FIFA to force the side to pay him his full salary, which the team had failed to do in the period spanning September 2020 to March 2021.

Since his contract with the side, he was liable to a M 10 000 monthly pay, only half of which he had been receiving for the period in question. 

According to Motloung, in March this year, the towering defender had unsuccessfully asked the team to release him from his contract which was supposed to lapse at the end of the 2021/22 season.

“He asked the team to release him to go for trials in South Africa during a time when there was football inactivity in the country, which they did. However, when he came back asking for his clearance after successfully passing the trials, the team then refused,” Motloung said. 

He said the player was adamant to get his full salary when the club refused to release his clearance but his fight was not fruitful as the team said they had no money.

On Monday Tse Nala were ordered to pay Sefoli M33 000 in outstanding salaries and a further M40 000 in compensation. The payments have to be made within 45 days and failure to do so will result in the side being banned from signing new players for the next two transfer windows.     

Motloung indicated that should Lioli still fail to observe the directive, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) could be in the soup. 

Meanwhile, Lioli vice President Advocate Hopolang Nathane, said they received the letter of judgement and already responded to it. 

“The club received the judgement by FIFA but because it was not clear on why and how the verdict was reached, we used the 10days period to seek clarity on the matter. If the response gives sound reasons then we shall comply willingly, however if we feel justice was not served we will exercise our rights and challenge the decision,” Nathane said.

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