Foot­ball fra­ter­nity needs to con­quer its demons

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

THE 2016/17 premier league soc­cer sea­son was thrown into fur­ther tur­moil on Sun­day af­ter another high pro­file en­counter be­tween LDF against Bantu at Ratjo­mose Bar­racks had to be called-off fol­low­ing a bit­ter brawl be­tween the play­ers of the two teams.

It all started two months ago when a group of Bantu sup­port­ers as­saulted match com­mis­sioner Moeketsi Mo­holo­bela af­ter their team’s 0-1 loss to Kick­4life and a fort­night ago, Mat­lama sup­port­ers in­vaded the pitch at Set­soto Sta­dium in a match in which their team was trail­ing 1-2 to Li­oli.

There were tragic events as a Mat­lama sup­porter was shot and sub­se­quently died of his wounds at Tše­po­eng Hospi­tal.

I must say that this is very dis­turb­ing, more so in light of the fact that the league cam­paign is still in its early stages with most of the clubs hav­ing played only nine games.

And it has been a long time since we last wit­nessed such acts of hooli­gan­ism and vi­o­lence in our foot­ball.

The eas­i­est thing to do un­der such cir­cum­stances would be to point fingers at the premier league man­age­ment com­mit­tee (PLMC) and urge them to tighten their rules and sanc­tions for vi­o­lence and hooli­gan­ism.

In­deed, this is a wake-up call to them that mon­e­tary fines will not suf­fice to de­ter hooli­gan­ism.

Per­haps it may be time the premier league docked points from teams found guilty of bring­ing the game into dis­re­pute.

But, like I said, it is not the time for point­ing fingers and play­ing the blame game.

The league and the clubs need to start work­ing to­gether to end the vi­o­lence that has dis­rupted the league.

The league body can­not win this war on its own and as stake­hold­ers we should all play our part in clean­ing up foot­ball in the moun­tain King­dom.

To be hon­est, I am also try­ing to un­der­stand where this is com­ing from be­cause our foot­ball has been so peace­ful over the years.

Of course, there have been in­ci­dents here and there, but it has never been this bad and re­cur­ring within a short space of time.

Can it be that the po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity has rubbed off on foot­ball mat­ters?

That is a ques­tion for another day but this is cer­tainly not good for our foot­ball which has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a trans­for­ma­tion as clubs had taken ma­jor strides to­wards pro- fes­sion­al­ism in terms of re­mu­ner­a­tion for play­ers and tech­ni­cal staff.

Our league has even at­tracted play­ers from as far as West Africa and other parts of the con­ti­nent.

Bantu even lured James Ma­didi­lane, a for­mer South African in­ter­na­tional who was al­ready work­ing in the coach­ing setup at his for­mer team Bloem­fontein Celtic.

While Li­oli and Bantu have been head and shoul­ders above the rest, big guns like Mat­lama and LCS are not far be­hind and there has also been the emer­gence of Kick­4Life who are also do­ing very well on and off the field.

There are a num­ber of com­pa­nies that have en­tered into part­ner­ships with our clubs and surely such in­ci­dents are dam­ag­ing to their brands.

The me­dia has also been do­ing their part in pro­mot­ing lo­cal foot­ball, and as such, there are many rea­sons why the foot­ball fra­ter­nity should unite and con­quer the demons that are threat­en­ing to de­stroy the game that we love so much.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.