Lesotho: Matlama Ruling On Monday - Appeal Board

Matlama will have to wait until Monday to learn whether or not they succeeded in their appeal against the Disputes and Protests Committee's (DISPROCO) decision to dismiss its case against the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA).

The club petitioned DISPROCO last month to contest LeFA's decision to end the league in its current state and declare Bantu the 2019/20 season champions. DISPROCO dismissed the case saying LeFA had acted within the confines of the law. Matlama immediately petitioned the Appeal Board.

The matter was supposed to have been heard last week but Matlama failed to pitch up. The matter was finally heard this week but DISPROCO reserved judgement until Monday.

Matlama are accusing LeFA of undermining the spirit of fairness by declaring Bantu champions and also failing to relegate the two bottom-placed teams as per the premier league and A Division rules and regulations.

Last month, DISPROCO dismissed the matter but Matlama did not take the verdict lying down.

Matlama were represented by Tumisang Mosotho while LeFA was represented by Qhalehang Letsika and Bantu was represented by Tefo Rabolinyane.

The appeal panel was made up of Thato Molapo, Moshoeshoe Letsie and Kaizer Selimo.

Matlama argued that the LeFA national executive committee should have amended the regulations before resolving to end the season prematurely and handing Bantu the title. The club also argues that the NEC's resolution to end the league prematurely based on Article 50 of its regulations, was inconsistent with the rules of the premier league and A Division rules and regulations.

"The NEC resolution based on Article 50, does not give the NEC authority to violate the provisions of the rules of the leagues," Mosotho argued.

"The NEC should have amended the regulations... The NEC resolution has effectively suspended, varied or amended the regulations retrospectively.

"Instead, the NEC should have used a points per game system as a solution. This is because speculatively, the positions would have changed as teams did not play same number of matches. In the A Division, the teams did not play an equal number of matches making it more complex given the tightness of the competition."

In declaring Bantu the league champions, LeFA should have also declared the bottom two teams of the premier league relegated.

Matlama therefore payed that the DISPROCO ruling should be set aside and that the NEC's resolution be nullified.

Responding to Mosotho, Letsika said: "Matlama has attended all meetings and was a part of the recommendations".

"They actually waived their right (to contest the decision) by not complaining about their dissatisfaction prior to the resolution. Secondly, there is no record where Matlama ever objected during the meetings... the protest is an afterthought.

"... The NEC's decision is consistent with LeFA's statutes because Article 50 deals with abnormal situations. The NEC doesn't have the authority to prevail over regulations but that is only applicable when the situation is normal."

Letsika said LeFA did not have a reason to amend the regulations as prescribed by Matlama because the NEC's decision was final in extenuating circumstances.

After hearing the prayers from both sides, the panel concluded that they needed time to discuss the issues raised therefore said the judgement would be delivered on 24 August 2020.

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