Bantu loses ap­peal

… ap­peal board calls for de-regis­tra­tion of play­ers

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

PREMIER League giants, Bantu, have lost their ap­peal against the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee’s guilty ver­dict for the fraud­u­lent use of for­eign play­ers.

Bantu were found guilty of reg­is­ter­ing four more than the stip­u­lated five for­eign play­ers when they fielded Thabo Selisa, Itume­leng Fa­lene, Mo­laoa Pheko and Phu­moha Mat­sipa in their De­cem­ber 2017 match against Li­oli.

Li­oli con­tested and won the case and were even­tu­ally awarded the three points and three goals from the game.

Bantu re­acted by lodg­ing an ap­peal and ar­gued that Li­oli had fraud­u­lently ac­quired the ev­i­dence used in the case.

This was af­ter South African home af­fairs of­fi­cial found him­self in the storm in­volv­ing the two teams hav­ing writ­ten an af­fi­davit agree­ing that he had fraud­u­lently is­sued the birth cer­tifi­cates of the four play­ers. He later with­drew the ini­tial let­ter.

The Le­sotho Times is in po­si­tion of the two let­ters.

The dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee said it had found that the four play­ers are South Africans who had pre­vi­ously reg­is­tered and played for teams in the Free State prov­ince.

The protests and dis­putes body had also es­tab­lished from the ev­i­dence pre­sented by Li­oli that the play­ers were also in pos­ses­sion of fraud­u­lent Le­sotho na­tional iden­tity doc­u­ments which were all is­sued in 2017.

“It is un­ten­able that one and the same player can be a cit­i­zen of a dif­fer­ent coun­tries hence we rec­om­mend to the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to fol­low and in­ves­ti­gate this mat­ter fur­ther so that if there are any il­le­gal­ity rid­ding the ob­tain­ing of these na­tional iden­tity doc­u­ments then the cul­prits must be brought to book,” the judge­ment said.

“We can­not af­ford to have the good name of the LEFA tainted through such il­le­gal­i­ties, if any, the NEC should en­sure that the as­so­ci­a­tion as well as the en­tire soc­cer fra­ter­nity is not brought into dis­re­pute

“If this kind of be­hav­iour of be­hav­iour is not curbed at this early stage, the as­so­ci­a­tion will cer­tainly face dire con­se­quences.

Mean­while, the Ap­peals Board yes­ter­day or­dered that the four Bantu play­ers be de-reg­is­tered from Le­sotho foot­ball and that dis­ci­plinary pro­cesses

be launched against the en­tire com­mit­tee of the Mafeteng out­fit.

“The ap­peal is dis­missed and Li­oli is awarded three (3) points and three goal (3) goals,” the state­ment from Ap­peal’s Board reads.

“All these four play­ers be de-reg­is­tered. Dis­ci­plinary process be launched against the en­tire com­mit­tee of Bantu.

“Costs of this Ap­peal are awarded to Li­oli FC in the amount of M3000.”

Fa­lene, who has also played for the Le­sotho na­tional team dur­ing the 2017 COSAFA Cup held in South Africa had an im­pres­sive de­but sea­son at Bantu play­ing a vi­tal role as the team clinched the league ti­tle.

He was found to have been reg­is­tered for FC Hunters in the ABC Mot­sepe League with the iden­tity num­ber 9112115454088.

Selisa, who has been the club’s first choice goal­keeper over the last two sea­sons was also found to have played for the same team us­ing iden­tity num­ber 8708215473083.

Mo­laoa and Phu­moha also played for FC Hunter us­ing 9407256146083 and 9302076246082 re­spec­tively.

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