Monday, 06 December 2021 03:05 GMT

LEFA blasts move to block fans


(MENAFN- The Post) MASERU – Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) President Advocate Salemane Phafane has blasted the government's decision to block supporters from attending football matches.
Speaking on Tuesday at the LEFA headquarters at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena, Phafane said LEFA will take the government head on over the matter and push for fans to be allowed back into grounds.
Phafane was speaking at his first press conference after he was re-elected the LEFA boss two weeks ago.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro announced that all sporting codes, including contact sports, would be allowed to return to action but with no supporters.
The decision to prohibit fans was negatively received in the football community given parties and bashes, where alcohol abuse is the order of the day, have continued.
Politicians have also been allowed to hold political rallies but supporters cannot watch their teams.

In the eyes of sports fans, the prime minister's announcement further strengthened the point of view that government does not care about sports and everyone who earns their living through them.
Clubs complained that their financial well-being has also not been taken into consideration and sponsors have been disregarded.
Phafane said LEFA will not take the matter lying down, it wants fans back in.
Phafane said it is cowardly of the government to not see the benefit of having fans back at the grounds.
He said spectators at matches could be used as a drive for the vaccination campaign that the government has embarked on. So far, according to World Health Organisation Africa, Lesotho has vaccinated just over 10 percent of its population. About 682 400 doses have been received by the country and 332 950 of them have been administered.

The government is calling on everyone over 18 years to get a jab, and why it does not see the need to use football to get more people to vaccinate is bewildering to say the least.
“We are going to take them head on to try and negotiate with them and to satisfy them that, in order to fight Covid, they should allow supporters into the grounds but with terms, among others, let's get vaccinated, (and) observe all the protocols,” Phafane said.

“We find the government to have been cowards that they open bars, allow people to go to parties but will not allow supporters to the ground. We want the government to look at it, also the government should understand the companies that have invested in football,” Phafane added.
In the meantime, the National Executive Committee (NEC) has two different recommendations from the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) and A-Division Management Committee (ADMACO).
The PLMC wants to abort the unfinished 2020/21 league season with no relegations, but does not state what should happen to promotion. On the other hand, ADMACO wants to continue in order to have relegation and promotion. Over the past month it looked as if the league would be aborted, but now it is looks more likely to continue.

If the league does continue, it is clear if it will be after the FIFA international week set to take place in October in order to allow teams to get back in training and get their houses in order. Just little over 50 percent of the Premier League games for the 2020/21 campaign have been played. if the season carries on until May next year, then Lesotho will have a representative in the CAF Champions League unlike this year. The stoppages in the league over past 12 months have since cost Lesotho a place in this year's CAF Champions League and led to poor performances by the national team which has seen Lesotho's FIFA ranking tank.

Meanwhile, at the press conference, LEFA unveiled equipment worth M500 000 as a donation from the English Football Association (FA) for grassroots development programmes for kids between six to 12 years. The equipment came as the result of the relationship the association has built with the English FA and more is expected from this relationship.
“This equipment is a result of a bilateral agreement between LEFA, the English FA and UEFA,” Phafane said.

“When we approached the English FA they introduced us to UEFA and we now have direct access to UEFA for assistance, for training programmes, material, for any equipment we may need. We have just signed a bilateral agreement with Morocco, expectations is that we will start to reap the rewards from that bilateral, (and we) will begin to exchange programmes with the Moroccan Association. (We are) in the process of establishing a bilateral agreement with Belgium,” Phafane added.

Tlalane Phahla

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