Likuena host Bafana Bafana
Malefane booted out of Likuena for coming to camp late, but Bantu star claims he could not make it on time because he was assisting his pregnant wife.
Bantu defender, Sepiriti Malefane, is furious following what he calls “unfair dismissal” from the national team camp on Sunday afternoon.
Likuena are preparing to play a friendly match against Bafana Bafana on thursday next week at Setsoto Stadium as part of the two teams’ preparations for the Cosafa tournament scheduled for Rustenburg, South africa, from 17-27 May.
However, Malefane would not be part of the Lesotho squad in next week’s tie and possibly the regional tournament after he was told to leave Bambatha tšita Sports Complex late Sunday for arriving in camp late. the coaches also accused him of coming to camp drunk, while the player insists he could not come at 10am as required because he was assisting his heavily pregnant wife. Malefane only joined his teammates at midday and says he had communicated his predicament to assistant coach Halemakale Mahlaha “through whatsapp”.
a very disappointed Malefane yesterday told the Lesotho Times: “I had been communicating with the assistant coach, ntate Mahlaha, through whatsapp, and he was aware that I had family commitments as I could not leave my heavily pregnant wife just like that.
“I had to make sure the rent was paid and that she had everything she might need as doctors say she is going to give birth on 22 May. I would have been at the Cosafa tournament if I had been selected for the final squad, which is why I had to make sure my wife had everything before I said goodbye.”
However, Malefane said he was “very surprised” with the response he received from Mahlaha who allegedly told him he was not the only one with personal commitments.
“I could not believe what the coach was saying and felt victimised from that moment. I could not believe it when he told me that they were going to check if I had been drinking beer once I arrived in camp, but surprisingly, he was not there when I pitched up at around midday. He told me that he was in a meeting in Khubetsoana,” said Malefane.
“Later, I went to Pioneer Mall to buy toilet- ries and I was in the company of (midfielder) Bushy Moletsane. But when I returned to Bambatha, Ntate Mahlaha told me to handover my national team attire to the kit manager and leave camp because I had come late.”
the former Likhopo stalwart, who joined Bantu at the start of the 2014/15 season, admitted he had “a few drinks” on Saturday, but did not “touch any alcohol on Sunday because I knew I had to report for camp”.
He continued: “You can ask my teammates; I was not drunk when I came to camp. there were players who came drunk late on Sunday, but nothing was said about it. the worst part of it is they had not even said a word to the coaches about coming late for camp compared to me, who took the trouble to inform the coach about what was going on, but still found myself being booted out of camp.”
Contacted yesterday for comment, Likuena coach, Seephephe Matete, said: “We had given the players time off and they were supposed to report back on Sunday by 10am. unfortunately, Malefane was late and his explanation about the wife being pregnant was not convincing. He was also suspected of smelling alcohol which was the reason for his dismissal.
“But I was not aware of his conversation with ntate Mahlaha, so I will call the player to address the matter and get his side of the story.”
Matete admitted some players also arrived late for camp on Sunday and missed their morning practice match, but were not axed from the squad.
“Yes, some players arrived late for camp, but came to us, the coaches, and apologised,” said Matete.
Meanwhile, asked about the Bafana match, team manager, Khiba Mohoanyane, said: “the South african Football association asked to play a friendly match against us on 14 May at Setsoto Stadium, which we gladly accepted.”
Likuena utility player Sepiriti Malefane