By: CHRIS TOTOBELA
The Makana LFA Premier league is well under way, with the teams having played five to six games already. It is still the early stages of the season but there are fireworks already and the teams seem to mean business, however there is still one team that is yet to take the field in this year’s competition.
Just before the start of the current campaign, the fans anticipated good football and highly contested clashes especially after the relegation of Eleven Attackers and Sakhulutsha from the SAB league. Attackers have had a rocky start to the league while Sakhulutsha are yet to kick a ball this season in the Makana LFA Premier league.
Grocott’s Mail spoke to Sakhulutsha’s head coach, Siyabonga Masinda, who did not hide his dissatisfaction about his team’s situation. “We were told that we are supposed to play in the first division which is something that came as a surprise to me. When we won the league we did not get our prize money from the league but [other teams reportedly]got their prize money,” said Masinda.
Masinda was frustrated that the club is reportedly still owed money from the league from a number of years ago. “How are we suppose to pay the affiliation fee that they want from us if they know exactly that they still owe us money that has been outstanding for years. This is so frustrating for my players and I am willing to do anything to make sure that justice prevails,” said Masinda.
Akhona Heshu, the general secretary of Makana LFA, responded on behalf of the association. “We alerted all the teams that were promoted to the SAB league about this rule and this is compulsory to all the promoted teams. The promoted teams are suppose to leave a team that will play in the local premier league so that when they get relegated they fall back straight to our premier league,” said Heshu.
“If you do not have the team that will play in our league, you must pay the affiliation fee that is paid by all the premier league team. We are very aware of the costs that the promoted teams endure while playing in the SAB league which is why we do not have a deadline for them as they are allowed to pay it anytime before the start of the new league.”
“Sakhulutsha knew their fate with three or two games to go and should have made plans to avoid the situation that they find themselves in. We had no choice but to instruct them to go and play in the lower league. We made several attempts to try and avoid this situation. We have written a few letters to them requesting a meeting with them but they never showed up. This is nothing personal and we are just following the rules,” said Heshu.