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Lioli escape FIFA wrath by a whisker


Chris Theko

Vodacom Premier League giants Lioli have survived by the skin of their teeth from being punished by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) to be banned from acquiring new players to bolster their squad for three successive transfers.

This follows an action which was taken by former Lioli midfielder Thato Sefoli. In September 2021, the player took the club to FIFA alleging it had defaulted on their contractual agreement and demanded that he be paid an amount totaling his salary from September 2020 to March 2021.

Upon hearing both sides, FIFA then ruled in favor of the South African player and ordered the club to pay the player M73 000 within 45 days. The ruling had stipulated that failure to duly comply would result in the team being banned from signing new players.    

Last week Friday Lioli received a letter from FIFA alerting the club that they are banned from buying new players for three transfer periods. However, Lioli president Lehlohonolo Thotanyana has told this publication that there was a mistake in the communication between the two organization. 

“We did receive a letter last week Friday from FIFA communicating to us that due to having not following the orders of the ruling, we have been banned from buying players. 

“But let me clarify that there was a break in communication between the club and FIFA because we did reach a settlement with the player. While everything was communicated to FIFA, it was done through an email of our former general secretary who is no longer with us,” Thotanyana said”.

Thotanayana further stated that the other miscommunication was on the issue of interest payment that was settled later than the actual amount.

“Apart from the money we owed him, we had to also pay interest in compensation but that was settled later and the communication was done through the wrong email that is why we received the letter on Friday,” Thotanyana said. 

He indicated that upon communicating the developments with FIFA and showing how there had been a kind of communication break-down the club was exonerated off the punishment, which means they can go ahead with their processes.

Sefoli was released by Lioli at his request in March 2021 even though he still had a contract with the club.

During that time football was not being played in the country because of an increase in Covid-19 cases.   

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