PREMIER League Management Committee (PLMC) chairperson, John Leuta, has assured the nation that telecommunications giant Vodacom Lesotho will stay on as sponsors of the league for the new season.
Vodacom and the premier league’s partnership had been clouded by uncertainty after the delay in the disbursement of prize money to clubs for the 2016/17 season which ended in May.
The clubs have not received the prizes due to them.
Leuta this week once again apologised for the delay in the payments telling the Lesotho Times that the partners regret the inconvenience as they indicated in their joint statement three weeks ago.
“Vodacom has assured us that they are staying on as our sponsors for the new season though we still need to sit down and map a way forward,” Leuta said.
“Like we said before, we regret the delay that has been caused by the fact that the company is updating its systems.
“But they communicated last Friday, saying they hoped to make the payments by the end of this week.”
PLMC Public Relations Officer, Mosito Lekholoa, told the Lesotho Times that they took a decision to postpone the start of the new season to 2 September. The season had initially been scheduled to start on 26 August.
“We understand that the payments delay has inconvenienced clubs in their pre-season preparations,” Lekholoa said.
“The plan was also to begin the new season with a double header but we have since been informed that Setsoto Stadium has been booked for a big occasion on 26 August.
“We therefore felt that these were compelling reasons to postpone the opening matches.
“This will also give the clubs more time to work on their preparations because hopefully by then they would have received their prize monies.”
Vodacom Premier League champions, Bantu begin their title defence against new boys Sefotha-fotha while Matlama take on Liphakoe in a double header that will kick-off the new campaign.
Last season’s runners-up, Lioli will be in action on the second day when they go head to head with Sandawana while the other new boys, Majantja host Linare in Mohale’s Hoek.
Opening weekend fixtures:
Bantu v Sefotha-fotha
Matlama v Liphakoe
Majantja v Linare
Lioli v Sandawana
Kick4Life v Sky Battalion
LCS v LMPS
FC Likhopo v LDF