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Storm at Lioli



MASERU – Lioli players are said to be unhappy with the current situation at the club and claim Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana and his executive have abandoned the team.

The situation is also said to have left head coach, Bob Mafoso, frustrated.

Players who spoke to thepost on condition of anonymity have accused the executive committee of lacking interest in the club and say the only constant figure they see is Lioli’s vice-president technical, Mothoalo Mothoalo.

Thotanyana is involved in politics and was busy campaigning for the Basotho Action Party (BAP) led by Professor Nqosa Mahao during the recent national election.

Lioli, meanwhile, are winless in three matches, losing twice and drawing once, and have slipped to tenth in the Vodacom Premier League after a promising start.

A player said the team’s preparations have been poor over the last four weeks and the main problem is finances.

Thotanyana dismissed the notion that he and his committee have abandoned the team, however.

“We are still committed to the team, even the salaries we are contributing from our own pockets to pay them, I think that is the biggest form of commitment ever. I have obviously been busy you know (with elections) and they can expect to see me more from now on,” Thotanyana insisted.

“We are working towards having an (annual general meeting). I think around December we will hold one,” he added.

Thotanyana said he remains in the loop on the team’s affairs.

“It’s just that when things are not going well, people start looking for scapegoats. I am still in touch, even last week we had a meeting with the coach. We are still waiting for the report.”

When contacted for comment, Mothoalo admitted the club has had challenges with finances but insisted the problems has been resolved now and that it was caused by a delayed payment from Lioli’s sponsor.

Mothoalo said the players are seeing him a lot because he deals directly with technical staff and said the president is still very much part of the club despite his involvement in politics. He denied that the executive has deserted the club.

“We don’t want them meddling with the team because there are players that can get close to the executive to a point that they can go directly to them. The way we see it (is that) their manager is the head coach; it starts there, they speak with (Mafoso) first,” Mothoalo said.

“We had a delay in receiving payments from the sponsor, but that is okay now. I think maybe what frustrates (the players) is lack of communication sometimes,” he said.

Lioli face Linare in a crunch Great North Derby on Saturday in Maputsoe. Mafoso refused to comment on the players’ frustrations and was only willing to discuss the weekend’s game.

He said the match against Linare is not even about tactics. He said ‘Tse Tala’ players are motivated coming into this game and are looking to impress their new coach Leslie Notši which will make the game even harder.

Mafoso said players do not need any motivation ahead of a game like this against one of their biggest foes.

“It is going to be a difficult game, if you look at their coach, he is one of the most experienced coaches. He has been in difficult situations before; he can see what you are doing. As a person he is one coach that players want to play for him, which speaks of their will to win,” Mafoso said.

“We have a small squad and we are hit with injuries, so it is not easy to prepare for a game of this magnitude, we are hoping to welcome back two players.”

Saturday (15:00)
Machokha vs. Naughty Boys (LCS)
Linare vs. Lioli (DIFA Leribe)
Swallows vs. Matlama (Nyakosoba)
Sunday (15:00)
Lijabatho vs. Galaxy (Morija)
Liphakoe vs. Lifofane (LCS)
Bantu vs. Manonyane (DIFA Mohale’s Hoek)
LMPS vs. LCS (Ratjomose)

Tlalane Phahla

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