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MBABANE – The Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) has turned down a request for the release of National First Division side Rangers MoMo Cup’s prize money.

This past Friday, the Shiselweni-based ensemble had petitioned the elite football office demanding the release of the E100 000 prize money for reaching the semi-finals, as well as E10 000 for hitting the minimum 1 000 votes target for the MoMo Cup. The PLE was given until this past Monday to deposit the money into Rangers’ account to avert legal action. In response to the demand on deadline day, PLE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Makhanya confirmed withholding the E100 000 prize money, but claimed that Rangers were not entitled to the E10 000. Makhanya said the reason for freezing the money was that the office received a bill for legal fees that were in excess of the amount demanded by Rangers. The latter alongside Milling Hotspurs had ran to court to challenge their relegation from the Premier League, but when judgment was delivered about two weeks ago, they lost the matter with legal costs.


“Due to this bill for legal costs being in excess of the amount held by the PLE, we are unable to deposit the amount as requested. The PLE is preparing to invoice Rangers and the other club. The PLE is hereby placing it on record that any ill advised legal action will be challenged just like the previous one which was dismissed and there will be consequences,” responded the CEO. Sought for a way forward, Rangers CEO Thembinkosi Hlandze wondered what instrument the PLE used to hold onto the money. “Even the matter the PLE is talking about, it is still within our rights to appeal. We expected to have been paid even before the court ruling. To make matters worse, we don’t even know the total legal costs,” he said.


Hlandze said they would be guided by the PLE’s response to the above-mentioned concern on the way forward. Meanwhile, a legal expert, on condition of anonymity, told this publication that the PLE needed to make an application in court to withhold the money as part of the legal costs. “In this case, the PLE is paying itself when it should be the team making the payment,” alleged the legal expert.

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