Referees boycott Majantja

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MASERU — The Lesotho Referees Association (LRA) has threatened to continue boycotting football matches involving Majantja FC until the Premier League Management Committee addresses its grievances.
The referees association has since last December been boycotting matches involving Majantja after its players and supporters ‘harassed’ a referee and his two assistants.
The players and supporters are alleged to have tried to assault referee, Matheola Makhobalo, and his two assistants, Sekhonyana Seeiso and Godfrey Moloinyane in a league match played in Mohale’s Hoek on December 13.
The referee and his assistants were only saved from assault after the police intervened and escorted them from the stadium.
The assault infuriated the referees’ association.
A spokesman for the referees’ association, Rethusitsoe Lebaka, said referees will continue to boycott matches involving Majantja until the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) guarantees their safety.
“We will continue to boycott any match played against Majantja until relevant authorities provide maximum protection for the referees,” Lebaka said.
He said their main demand was to make sure that referees are provided with “maximum security” before they can officiate at any match.
“Maximum security of referees is our main concern because we are doing this out of love for the game,” he said.
Lebaka said that Makhobalo submitted a full match report detailing how he and his assistants were harassed last month.
He said the report was submitted to the relevant authorities.
 “Our referees submitted a full report with all the details of the harassment to the PLMC,” Lebaka said.
He however said they were still to get any feedback from PLMC on the referee’s report a month after the attack.
“I can’t say that it was not dealt with but I am only saying that we were not given a report on how this matter was handled,” he said.
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa)’s acting chief executive officer, Mokhosi Mohapi, told the Lesotho Times that his office was aware of the problem.
“I am told that the PLMC did take some action by fining Majantja. The only problem is that the PLMC did not copy the (letter) to my office nor the referees’ office.
“This is what contributed to the (failure) by the referees to attend the match,” Mohapi said.
Mohapi said the referees’ association had erred by deciding to boycott league matches without first informing the referees’ national executive committee.
He said the decision to boycott the match was “unacceptable”.
“The referees had no right to do what they did without first consulting the referees’ committee,” he said.
He said that he had asked the PLMC to forward the judgment on the Majantja case to his office.
“I have requested the PLMC to forward the judgement to my office today (Tuesday).
“I will then forward the same judgment to the referees association and the referees’ executive committee by tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said.
Lesotho referees get a paltry M100 to officiate at league matches around the country.

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