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Liphakoe fight back

Business

Seabata Mahao

Liphakoe Football Club (FC) have challenged a tribunal ruling in which it was docked three points and three goals for allegedly fielding an ineligible player.

The appeal follows the decision by the Lesotho Football Association’s (LeFA) Disciplinary and Disputes Committee (DISPROCO), which judged that Liphakoe used a player who was not eligible during their 2-0 win over Manonyane FC in the recently concluded 2023/24 Vodacom Premier League (VPL) season.

DISPROCO’s ruling meant that Manonyane, which were facing certain relegation, has temporarily avoided it, pending the finalisation of the appeal hearing.

Trouble for Liphakoe began when Manonyane approached the tribunal seeking redress for what they viewed as a breach of premier league rules by the Quthing side.

They argued that Thabang Mofihli was ineligible to play for Liphakoe as he had initially been registered with Roma Boys from the A-Division League at the beginning of the season.

As part of their supporting evidence, Manonyane presented a purported letter from Limkokwing University FC indicating that Mofihli was loaned to Liphakoe for the first half of the season, ending on December 31, 2023.

Manonyane argued that since there was no extension for the loan beyond December 2023, Mofihli should have returned to Limkokwing University FC, rendering his participation in the match illegitimate. In their defense, Liphakoe insisted they had adhered to proper transfer procedures to acquire Mofihli from Limkokwing University FC and expressed shock at Manonyane’s claim that Mofihli was also registered with Roma Boys FC.

The tribunal ultimately found Liphakoe in the wrong for fielding an ineligible player and awarded Manonyane three points and three goals from the disputed match. This decision means that CCX will be relegated to the A Division instead of Manonyane.

In its appeal application, Liphakoe sought an opportunity to present new evidence and witnesses to prove their innocence. The date for the appeal hearing is yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, CCX, facing relegation if the decision stands, petitioned the court to also grant them three points and three goals, citing Mofihli’s participation in their own match against Liphakoe. However, their petition was dismissed for being filed outside the provisions of the rules.

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