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Liphakoe lose appeal case

Business

Seabata Mahao

Liphakoe Football Club (FC) has lost its appeal case to overturn a previous ruling that docked them three points and three goals for fielding an ineligible player.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA)’s Appeal Board dismissed Liphakoe’s appeal, finding it lacked sufficient grounds.

LeFA’s Disciplinary and Disputes Committee (DISPROCO) had earlier ruled that Liphakoe was at fault for playing Thabang Mofihli in a Vodacom Premier League (VPL) match against Manonyane FC during the 2023/24 season, as he was not eligible.

This ruling initially granted Manonyane FC a temporary reprieve from relegation, now confirmed by the Appeal Board’s decision. Consequently, CCX FC will be relegated to the A Division League instead of Manonyane.

Bokang Phasumane, Public Relations Officer of the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC), confirmed the dismissal of Liphakoe’s appeal. Phasumane added that they were awaiting Liphakoe’s decision on whether they plan to pursue the matter further.

“Liphakoe FC has seven working days to decide whether to re-appeal or not. The appeal case to the (FIFA’s) Arbitration Court is going to be financially and time costly.

“This has already affected the PLMC’s calendar as we had to postpone the Vodacom Premier League (VPL) season awards and payment of monetary prizes to the football clubs as well as releasing the official and final log standings of 2023/24,” he said.

Tsietsi Portas, the Communications and Marketing Manager of Liphakoe, stated that the club has yet to decide on their next steps. Liphakoe has the option to lodge an appeal in the Arbitration Court in Zurich, Switzerland.

Liphakoe’s issues began when Manonyane FC approached DISPROCO, claiming a breach of premier league rules by the Quthing side. Manonyane argued that Thabang Mofihli was ineligible to play for Liphakoe FC as he was initially registered with Roma Boys from the A-Division League at the start of the season.

As evidence, Manonyane presented a letter from Limkokwing University FC, indicating that Mofihli was loaned to Liphakoe FC for the first half of the season, ending on December 31, 2023. They argued that since there was no loan extension beyond December 2023, Mofihli should have returned to Limkokwing University FC, making his participation in the disputed match illegitimate.

In their defense, Liphakoe asserted that they had followed the proper transfer procedures to acquire Mofihli from Limkokwing University and expressed surprise at Manonyane’s claim that Mofihli was also registered with Roma Boys FC.

The tribunal ultimately found Liphakoe in the wrong for fielding Mofihli, and therefore awarded Manonyane three points and three goals from the match in question.

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