Rugby boss hits back at Giants
Federation of Lesotho rugby (FLR) president, Fetang Selialia, says allegations of mismanagement leveled against his administration by Giants rugby Club, are “disrespectful and unfortunate”.
the league champions last week released a damning statement regarding FLR and also announced they were pulling out of the federation with immediate effect because of the alleged maladministration.
reads the Giants statement: “it is with great regret that we inform all stakeholders, supporters and the rugby fraternity at large, that the defending champions of the Lesotho rugby League hosted by the Federation of Lesotho rugby (FLR), are pulling out of the league with immediate effect.
“Giants rugby Club is extremely disappointed with the state of rugby affairs, which are continuously mismanaged, as well as the gross maladministration.
“Giants players and management make this decision with a heavy heart where, to date, an annual General Meeting (AGM) has never sat to evaluate the performance of the current crop of self-appointed administrators who deploy bullying tactics within the administration.
“Giants were unfairly treated on matters of alleged ‘disciplinary hearings’ where a player was suspended on match-day for five games for a transgression that he never received a proper hearing for.
“the refereeing has been substandard, to say the very least, and the Secretary General/ Public relations officer/ ‘face of Lesotho rugby’ (all in one) deliberately refereed a match with no relevant or prior experience in order to influence and frustrate our players.
“Giants were also disappointed with the way the FLR management handled our postmatch grievances by threatening to suspend players further.
“there is a self-appointed trio who run FLR like their own personal business and will stop at nothing to remain in power.
“rugby in Lesotho is in disarray and will continue to be so if an urgent AGM, financial audit and eventual investigation are not conducted.
“Giants will now concentrate on improving our status in the eastern Free State Griffons League where we ended in fifth position out of 10 teams in 2015. Giants will have a series of friendlies with Ladybrand, Ficksburg and Crusaders Bloemfontein before the league kicks off on 22 March 2016.”
However, Selialia told the Lesotho Times this week that he was disappointed and hurt with the way Giants aired their grievances.
“What i can tell you, as a founding member and now vice-president of the association, is we have been mostly focused on development since the formation of this organisation in 2012,” Selialia said.
“We also formed Maseru Kings, now known as Giants and we have not failed. We have intensified our grassroots programmes so much that we have 60 primary schools and over 40 high schools playing the sport, as well as senior teams in four districts.
“We have been in agreement that since our focus has been on laying a good foundation for rugby, we have had to see to it that we affiliate with the Lesotho Sports and recreation Commission (LSRC), Lesotho national olym- pic Committee (Lnoc), and rugby africa which used to be called the Confederation of african rugby, and from there, register with the international rugby Board.
“the other aspect was making sure we have facilities for matches so we came up with a five-year strategic plan for all this.”
according to Selialia, the agreement had been that the federation would go for elections in January 2017.
“So what we have been doing, including playing international matches, has been part of the strategic plan. We had also agreed that we would go to the polls in 2017 to elect a new committee,” said Selialia.
“nothing has changed and we will go for the elections in January so those allegations that people have put themselves in office do not hold water.
“the people behind that letter are not in the Giants management; they know nothing about the association and Giants as a team, and were not there when we were elected to serve in the Federation of Lesotho rugby.
“there is no truth that we were not elected and put ourselves in office. How can one serve a committee without being elected?
“We were elected and there are minutes and the constitution to prove it.
“these allegations are being made by people who want to destroy what we are trying to build. these people do not even understand our constitution.”
Selialia also said it was not true that the federation was being run by three people.
“We understand they have their grievances but they should have tabled them in a respectable manner,” said Selialia.
“We have since decided to boot them out of our league because even our constitution indicates that all teams should play in the local league.
“But now that they will be playing in South africa, we are taking them off our system and even their players will not be picked for the national team.
“the Giants executive is out of control and wants to run our association, but that will never happen.”
Selialia also said the federation would have an AGM early next month where the Giants issue would be discussed.
‘We were just waiting for the Sports Commission elections to pass and then hold our AGM. again, we give clubs the platform to table any issues they might be having during weekly forums. But what i am stating here is that the Giants allegations are not true at all, and like i said, are simply meant to create confusion.”
Contacted for comment, Giants Chairman, Liteboho Mahase, said the club stands by its statement and would not be intimidated by the suspension.
“that letter and the decision to pull out of the rugby league was made by the management of Giants and we can only reconsider coming back once the FLR has put their house in order,” Mahase said.
“Until there is transparency, we will be playing in South africa.
“We want a competitive league, an association that has direction and its committee elected through the right channels.”
Mahase also said their players would not suffer for being sidelined from the national team “as it only plays one match the entire year”.