OUTGOING Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) chairman John Leuta says they have secured M60 000 for each of nine clubs that have in the past struggled to secure sponsorship.
The deal comes courtesy of insurance company Metropolitan Lesotho and comes into effect at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
Leuta told the Lesotho Times that the sponsorship will assist the nine clubs with equipment that includes balls and soccer kits. He however, said the deal will exclude clubs such as Matlama, Lioli, Bantu, Kick4Life and Linare who already have technical sponsors.
However, the Bantu boss who has announced he will be stepping down as the PLMC chairman at the end of his tenure this month, rubbished reports that the sponsorship is being used by his camp to influence the upcoming league elections.
“This is an initiative that we started a long time ago and I am shocked by the claims that it is aimed at helping my camp win the upcoming Premier League elections,” Leuta said.
“Why would I want to buy votes when I will not stand for re-election? This is something that we had planned a long time ago and it has nothing to do elections.”
Leuta stated that the idea was also aimed at helping small teams that are struggling financial to go into the new season well prepared.
“Cheap politics has to be set aside as most of the committee will not be standing for re-election. All we are doing is to help teams that do not have technical sponsors to start the season on a high note and fully prepared.
“The initiative is supposed to narrow the gap between the big clubs that do not struggle for financial support and the smaller clubs which often struggle for soccer balls and kit.
“Ultimately, this should make the league more competitive and give confidence to the other clubs,” Leuta said.
Meanwhile, Leuta said the league’s delayed start was necessitated by the implementation of the Lesotho Football Association’s (LeFA) new player registration system called FIFA Connect.
He said they needed to give clubs time to familiarise with the system and be able to register their players properly to scandals that marred the league last season.
The league was characterised by a long-drawn fight between Lioli and Bantu over the avoid incidents that marred the game in the country last season.
“LeFA is introducing a new registration system and we had to give clubs time to learn about it and complete the registration process for the 2018/19 season.
“We do not want to make the same mistakes that gave us challenges last season that is why the association is now using this system,” Leuta said.