-Majantja premier league dream in limbo
-transaction could be reversed
The aspirations for Mohaleâ€™s Hoek football lovers to once again have an elite league team in their district are slowly dwindling into the thin of nothingness, as it looks apparent that a transaction which would have seen Majantja play in topflight football come the new season, is on the verge of reversal, Newsday Sport has learnt.
Just some mere weeks after the official announcement that Majantja had acquired Kick4Life’s Vodacom Premier League (VPL) status, the deal now hangs in the balance after the country’s football governing body, Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) stated that Majantja will have to register for the upcoming season under the Kick4Life name if it wants to ply its trade in the premier league despite the latter’s clear indication that they want out.
The latest development has left both sides of the deal so perplexed that reversal of the M 180 000 money which had to exchange hands for the deal to happen, looks like the only option thus throwing cold water on the hopes of a Mohaleâ€™s Hoek team in the premier league in the new season.
This is in spite of the fact that LeFA has been involved in the process from the very beginning, although the LeFA Secretary â€“ General Mokhosi Mohapi now maintains the two did not follow all the necessary processes to make the status purchase a success under the currently desired conditions.
This publication has it on good authority that at the news of the procedural misgiving, Kick4Life has decided to pay-back the entirety of the money paid by Majantja for the transaction as the team cannot afford the Kick4Life brand name being used by any other entity other than themselves, and their position is clear that they will not be fielding a menâ€™s soccer team in the premier league in the new season.
Kick4Life Chairman Baba Malephane said the club followed every process to sell its status to Majantja guided by LeFA through the office of Secretary General.
He said however, they were shocked to be told that Majantja would have to register and play as Kick4Life.
“Even before holding a joint press conference together with the Majantja FC management, we consulted with the LeFA SG and he gave us a green light. We wouldn’t have had such a public announcement before everything was completed, “Malephane said, adding “we communicated with the SG that we are selling the status and not the name, so there is absolutely no way that Majantja can play as Kick4Life because Kick4Life is not just a football club but a whole institution that we have an obligation to protect”.
However, in a statement released this week, LeFA said though it had long approved the deal for Kick4Life to sell its status to Majantja, the issue of name change was not properly disclosed hence it halted the process to protect the integrity of the game.
“LeFA has had several meetings with the management of the two clubs last week to guide them on how they can go about with their Club Licensing applications as well as their requests to change the name from Kick4life FC to Majantja FC without bringing the game into disrepute” LeFA said in the statement.
The statement further indicated that it was the association that advised Kick4life FC to sell its status and not close shop as it had initially indicated that its withdrawing from the Premier League, which would have brought the game in the country into disrepute.
Meanwhile, Majantja had written a letter to the LeFA SG dated June 13, 2022 where they requested change of everything while indicating they had bought the Kick4Life Premier League status.
“Majantja FC will continue to use its name, colours (Red and White), logos and host its games in Mohale’s Hoek. We believe having Majantja Football Club in the elite league would help improving the standard of football in the district as agreed with its sponsors to transfer its A Division status to All Aces Football Club,” reads the letter.
However, while Mohapi acknowledges the truthfulness of engagements between his office and the two clubs from the inception of the deal, he maintains that they have failed to follow the due process and the rules and regulations that govern both premier league and A-Division hence the association would not allow such.
â€œLeFA is governed by rules and regulations that both the teams and others in the respective leagues under the association have committed to abiding by,” Mohapi said, adding that the law is explicit in that any team playing in either the Premier League or A-Division has to renew its membership in the league it plays in before any steps that could include the sale of such a team.
Mohapi told Newsday Sport that in line with that rule, there is no team in the A-Division that can renew its membership in another league if that team was registered in the A-Division.
“Majantja did not register, they cannot suddenly renew membership in the premier league. So if the two teams cannot follow proper procedures and abide by the rules and regulations, the association will have to find ways to close that gap because Kick4Life has withdrawn its participation in the premier league,” Mohapi said, adding that misunderstanding caused by the stand-off was a result of ignorance of the law of the game which is in no-way his or LeFAâ€™s fault.
â€œWhen clubs do not read nor know the rules of the very game they play, how is that mine or LeFAâ€™s fault?â€ he quipped.