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No premier league status for Majantja

Business

Chris Theko

The aspirations of the Mohale’s Hoek football lovers to once again have a team in the premier league might not see the light of day as per recent Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and Kick4Life decisions.

Following a successful premier league status transaction worth M180 000 a fortnight ago, Majantja seem to have missed a pivotal step of reregistering for an A-Division license to be able to graduate to the topflight status.

In light of the new development, the team’s option to play in the league is to register as Kick4Life only this season, an option the latter is shunning, saying Kick4Life is far bigger than just a football club.

The second option for Majantja is to register and bear penalties, which may be a deduction of three points.

Left in a hang, the team’s notion is to just give up on the possibility and hope for something better.

Kick4Life whose plans to drop out of the premier league are unshaken, immediately suggested that they return the M180 000 worth of the status price to Majantja to avoid their name being used.

Majantja spokesperson, Lehlohonolo Moeketse said they will have to respect both LeFA and Kick4Life for their decision regarding Majantja’s fate.

“We don’t have a choice but to respect Kick4Life’s decision of pulling out of the deal, and to further follow LeFA’s rules of honouring the terms set towards our renewal and registration processes in terms of the club licensing,” Moeketse said.

He expressed his disappointment with how LeFA handled the issue, citing the fact that Kick4Life is not just a football club, but an institution; the football body could have exempted Majantja.

“All this is saddening because it is merely about the use of a name and it is the state of football that is suffering.

“Kick4Life is a big institution, they have a lot of things going on and not just football. They are not wrong to say they can’t allow us to use their name and logo,” he said.    

 For his part, Kick4Life chairman Baba Malephane cleared their stand in the matter telling Newsday Sports that they followed every process to sell the status to Majantja guided by LeFA through the office of the Secretary-General (SG).

He said they were later shocked when told that Majantja would have to register and play as Kick4Life.

“Even before the joint press conference with Majantja FC management earlier, we consulted with LeFA SG (Mokhosi Mohapi) and he gave us a green light. We would not have had such a public announcement before everything was completed,” Malephane said.

“We communicated with the SG that we are selling the status and not the name, hence there is no way that Majantja can register and play as Kick4Life. Kick4Life is not just a football club but a whole institution that has an obligation and identity to protect,” Malephane added.

Meanwhile, LeFA is adamant that Kick4Life should allow Majantja to register with its name, saying the registration will be just for a short period.

LeFA further said the Kick4Life registration name might not even be used at the beginning of the season if Majantja honours their A-Division registration simultaneously.

Mohapi in a separate interview with this publication explained that since Majantja was not registered in the A-Divison, they cannot suddenly be registered in the Premier League without having renewed their registration. 

“All we are saying to Kick4Life is ‘allow Majantja to use the name for registration purposes so that the system can capture them since they failed to renew their membership in the A-division’,” Mohapi said.

As things stand, the league’s plans may be thrown into disarray. Kick4Life have already dissolved their team and have made it clear they can no longer operate a premier league club, a decision which would leave Vodacom Premier League (VPL) with just 15 clubs. 

Mohapi suggested that there could be play-offs between the runners-up from last season’s A-Division campaign with the winner securing a spot in the VPL to fill the space left by Kick4Life.

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