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EPL set to suffer

Mohloai Mpesi

The Econet Premier League (EPL) 2019-2020 first round season is set to encounter a major blow following a string of internal matches lined up for the National team.

Likuena recently played a goal-less draw against the Waliasn of Ethiopia in the Fifa World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday in their first round encounter, are expected to host their counterparts on Sunday at Setsoto Stadium.

The National team is also lined-up to host the Zimbabwean Warriors in the on-going African Nations Championship (Chan) with a return leg penciled down for between October 18 and 20.

Lesotho will tussle against Sierra Leon in the African Cup of Nations 2020 qualifiers’ (Afcon) on November 15 and the home side is also pitted against African powerhouses like Nigeria in group L which is penned down for November 24.

The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) spokesperson, Moeketsi Ramakatsa, disclosed that their predicament has come to their grasp, and they are working to resolve the matter timeously. 

“It is going to affect the league a lot, and this is very abnormal because we are most of the times not used to this kind of congestion. For example, Caf games are normally late when we have played about four or five games, this year it started even before we could start our own local league games,” he said citing that if Matlama could have qualified to the next stage of the Confederation of African Football, could have added more jam in the league fixture.  

“This means that other activities could have had to be reversed in order to accommodate Matlama,” he said.

“We are currently prepping to talk with those in charge of the stadium in order to make schedules for the games. We have to play our games in time because we don’t have fields,” Ramakatsa said.

“We also have to hold many games at once, at least around three or four games one Saturday and Sunday, we will also be bound to play during the week,” he said.

“The main point is, we don’t want to finish our first round games around February next year, because if we don’t congest our games it means we will be forced to finish our games next year,” he said adding that he does not think the twine of games will exhaust the supporters as they will be forced to fork-out more cash from their pockets.

“I don’t think the supporters will have problems coming to the fields with numbers, as long as their teams are winning. They will always attend the games in great numbers, even at night. I know how our supporters are. Look at the way Likuena was supported in these two games, it is true we were expecting more support for Matlama but they really tried even though it was cold,” he said.

Ramakatsa reckoned that the games are likely to cause fatigue as the players will be bound to carry many games in a short period.

“We rest for a long time during our off seasons, other countries rest for about three weeks and start playing tournaments just to prepare for the season and other international games,” he said.

“To be honest, our teams have not prepared very well for the season during the off season. That will cause fatigue as they will be bound to play more games in a short time. But I think that is also a sign that our football is growing in Lesotho,” he said.  

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