Tough requirements for top-flight teams

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MASERU — One thing is for sure.

The coming Buddie Premier League season will be one of a kind — it will be the first time in Lesotho’s football history that four top-flight teams, instead of two, will be relegated.

With competition therefore certain to be fierce on the field, improvements off it are being imposed by the Premier League.

The upgrade is meant to be in line with the Mohale Declaration signed last year in April.

The declaration sets out a roadmap to professionalising football in the country and one of the key issues is to trim the Premier League from 16 teams to a more manageable 12.

The Premier League has set minimum entry requirements for the teams that will feature in the top-flight division next season.

On the administrative side, clubs will be required to have constitutions, operate bank accounts and to submit quarterly financial reports.

Technical improvements dictate that each club will have to have a coach with an advanced level certificate, a ground with designated changing rooms (or areas) and, most challengingly, an even playing field.

There will be an inspection of all clubs ahead of the season which is due to take place next week.

All this was agreed at the Premier League chairman’s forum held on May 18.

Tomorrow Premier League teams are expected to start registering for the coming season.

The league management offered to help clubs meet some of the new requirements.

But only four teams — LMPS, Mphatlalatsane, Matlama and newly promoted Nyenye Rovers — had approached the league by last Friday.

“The Premier League will help teams with the finances needed to acquire a letterhead, official stamp and official receipt book,” Premier League chairman Thlolo Letete told the Lesotho Times.

“It is a serious problem if teams don’t honour or respect their commitments.”

Letete said failure to fulfil the Premier League’s new requirements will see clubs forfeit their top-flight status next season.

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