MASERU was brought to a standstill last Sunday when two Econet Premier League giants faced off.
Bantu emerged victorious after scoring two goals to Lioli’s one in yet another memorable tie.
Surprisingly, however, the high profile match was played at Ratjomose Ground because Setsoto Stadium was unavailable, having hosted a music event last Friday.
According to Lioli president, Lebohang Thotanyana, the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) gave them a choice between Ratjomose Ground and Maputsoe DIFA Ground.
Lioli chose the former amid concerns the artificial turf at Maputsoe DIFA Ground would advantage their opponents who train on a similar surface.
However, given the stature of the fixture, methinks that the PLMC should have insisted on it being played at Maputsoe DIFA Ground, which is second only to the unavailable Setsoto Stadium.
Leshoboro Stadium would have been a third option, with Ratjomose Ground certainly at the tail end of the pecking order.
Mind you, the PLMC postponed the Matlama-Bantu tie arguing that Setsoto Stadium was not available. They pointed out that a match of that calibre should only be played at a facility like Setsoto Stadium bearing in mind such factors as security for both players and supporters among others.
Like many other people, I was befuddled by the PLMC’s decision, which is inconsistent with their previous pronouncements. It fuels the lingering belief that some of the committee’s officials make these questionable decisions to benefit the teams they support.
Fixtures such as Lioli vs Bantu, Lioli vs Matlama or Matlama vs Bantu need to be played at the larger facilities with barricaded pitches and which enable the teams’ supporters to be seated separately to prevent confrontations.
Ratjomose Ground falls far short of those standards unfortunately.
The PLMC needs to be consistent for them to be taken seriously by the football fraternity.
Bantu and Lioli fans were certainly not impressed by the committee’s decision. It was made worse by the fact that play had to be paused midway after cattle stampeded into the pitch.
The PLMC needs to get its act together in the next round of the premier league after a first stanza shrouded in controversy.