By Mikia Kalati
MASERU — Premier league defending champions, Lioli, are willing to release former captain and star defender Thabo Masualle after he went AWOL.
Lioli’s communication and marketing manager, Moeketsi Pitso, told this paper that they do not know the whereabouts of the man who led the club to their first league title in 24 years during the 2008/09 season.
Masualle was the captain of Tse Nala when they won the league title in the 2008/09 season and has been a key member in the club’s recent successes including last season’s league title triumph.
“We really do not know where the player is, but what I can tell you is that he remains our player,” Pitso said.
He told this paper that they have heard that their star defender is training with one of the country’s big guns.
“Masualle was summoned before our disciplinary committee after he behaved badly during the team’s gala dinner a few weeks ago,” he said.
Tse Nala has recently added former youth international defender, Kopano Tseka, and Basia Makepe into their team and feel they cannot do without the services of Masualle who has been one of the top defenders in the country for the past four seasons.
Pitso said Masualle instigated other players to embark on a strike after the club allocated M50 000 to be shared among the players during the club’s gala dinner.
“He failed to behave during the gala dinner and demanded to be given his share on that night when the team made a promise that M50 000 would be shared among them,” said Pitso.
“He is still contracted to us, but we are willing to negotiate and release him to any club that will meet our requirements.”
This paper has been reliable told that the Likuena defender has been training with Lioli rivals, Likhopo.
Likhopo team manager, Qamako Mahao, told this paper that indeed Masualle had been training with their team and they will register him for the new season.
“We have all the documentation from the player to prove that he is a free agent and we have been advised to request Lioli to clear the player and give us his player’s license so that we can register him,” Mahao said.
Mahao said they have a copy of Masualle’s contract which showed his deal with Lioli ended at the end the 2013/13 campaign.
Mahao also told this paper that reports that last season’s Young Player of the Season, Tumelo Khutlang, had disappeared are untrue.
“Yes, the player is not here with the team, but we know where he is and have been in contact with his family to have him back with the team,” said Mahao.