Matlama, players bury the hatchet

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MASERU — Matlama have made peace with six key players who were on the verge of quitting the Vodacom Premier League champions over incentives.

Skipper Nkau Lerotholi, Dlomo Monaphathi, Pali Tsalong, Lehlohonolo Mokhele, Liteboho Mokhesi and Thapelo Mokhehle had refused to buy the management’s assertion that it was too poor to pay them what they expected.

The players missed most of Matlama’s matches this season.

Dlomo, Mokhele and Mokhehle played their first match for Tse Putsoa this season on Sunday against Joy.

Lerotholi only played the first two league matches of the season.

But on Tuesday all of them were seen taking part in a team photo shoot after Matlama received a kit worth M250 000 from Alliance Insurance.

Lerotholi told the Lesotho Times the players and the management had buried the hatchet.

“We are now fine as players and everything is back to normal,” he said.

“We are satisfied and are looking forward to play for our team without any problems between the management and the players.”

He was not at liberty to disclose their grievances which sources however say were all about winning bonuses and allowances.

Matlama team manager Lebenya Makakole confirmed they had made peace with the players.

He too was not forthcoming on what exactly the players wanted.

“There were some misunderstandings between some players and the committee but the issue was addressed on Sunday 21st November at Pitso Ground,” he said.

“They were not demanding anything but we had some issues and whatever obstacles were there we discussed and ironed out them out.

“The committee apologised where they wronged the players and likewise the players did the same thing.”

Meanwhile, Matlama have given their players a third of the M180 000 they pocketed as losing finalists in last month’s Vodacom Soccer Spectacular tournament.

All the players — including the six who were literally on strike — each got between M1 200 and M2 500.

Makakole said the sharing of the prize money had nothing to do with the return of the players.

“They have not returned because we offered them a share of the prize money but because we ironed out our differences,” Makakole insisted.

“We had agreed on certain amounts that were to be given to the players depending on the performance at the Spectacular and we did just that.

“Last week on Monday we dispensed the money and the senior players got M2 500 while junior players received M1 200 each.”

Lerotholi said they were happy with the way the management had rewarded the players.

“We are really satisfied because the strategy used for distributing the money is fair to all of us,” he said.

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