|Bantu fans in trouble|
Bantu have been fined M20 000, half of which is suspended for the rest of the season, after being found guilty of misconduct and failing to control their supporters by the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC).
Bantu fans attacked match assessor Moeketsi Moholobela following the team’s 1-0 defeat to Kick4Life at LCS Stadium on September 24 and have been found in contravention of article 50 of the PLMC’s rules and regulations.
Half of their M20 000 fine has been suspended for the rest of the season on condition the club is not found guilty of misconduct relating to violence or assault.
The Mafeteng giants have also been ordered to identify the perpetrators of the violence. They have been told to take action against the fans and submit a report to that effect.
The ruling, released today, comes after the PLMC reviewed reports from the match in question from both Bantu and Kick4Life.
Part of Bantu’s punishment is that their next home game, on Sunday at the Leshoboro Stadium against LMPS, will be played behind closed doors.
The PLMC ruling says: “The next host game of Bantu which is match #41 is to be played without spectators. Only authorised and licensed officials are to be allowed at the game upon furnishing proper Lesotho Football Association official licenses. All supporters should be at least 100 metres away from the ground.”
On September 24, Bantu supporters attempted to attack referee Osias Koto after a 1-0 loss to Kick4Life. Moholobela tried to intervene but he was assaulted by the angry Bantu mob.
The PLMC’s verdict says Bantu claimed Moholobela was the first to hit their supporters.
However, the league dismissed this claim.
|Scene of the crime... Bantu fans after September 24 defeat to Kick4Life|
“There is no evidence corroborating such an allegation,” the PLMC’s ruling says. “Even if one would believe that to be true, the million dollar question would be, how did the supporters get to meet the referee? Were they entitled to insult him, such that Moholobela had to intervene? Having intervened, were they justified in assaulting him? The answer to these would clearly be in the negative. It is to be reiterated that an analysis of all attendant circumstances and evidence on reports, all of them contradict Bantu’s report on that point. Further, Bantu report does not seem to deny assaulting the said Official.”
The ruling also adds: “A further disturbing point made by Bantu in its report is the declaration made to the PLMC that they will not guarantee the security of the referee who officiated the match, namely Mr Koto. This is highly uncalled for more so when it comes from the management of a team.”
“Needless to remind Bantu that it is their duty to ensure the security of officials in their games whether visiting or hosting, the situation is worsened the declaration that they cannot ensure his security against their supporters, this is highly condemned. Further, no team will dictate on whom to officiate in their games, teams shall accept any referee fixtured in their game by the referee’s committee who is expected to do so without fear or favour, such threats are unfortunate. A watchful eye will therefore be put on this declaration,” the league says.
Sunday’s game against LMPS is the first A Matšo Matebele will host in Mafeteng.
Bantu’s hosted their first two home matches this season in Maseru because their Leshoboro Stadium was still undergoing repairs. A Matšo Matebele defeated Rovers 3-1 at Setsoto Stadium and Butha-Buthe Warriors 4-0 at the LCS Stadium in their two home fixtures so far.
Bantu had planned a ‘back to school’ celebration on Sunday to mark their first game in Mafeteng of the 2016/17 campaign.