‘Banning spectators deters investors’


Luciano Matsoso (c) of Lesotho during the 2018 COSAFA match between Lesotho and Swaziland at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 02 June 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

 Phafane says LeFA has capacity to manage Covid


MASERU – Lesotho Football Association (LeFA)’s re-elected president, Advocate Salemane Phafane, says banning spectators from the grounds hurts the business and discourages the few investors who have put money into football.

Phafane’s statements follow the lifting of a ban on sporting activities on Friday by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro, who indicated that despite resumption of activities, spectators will not be allowed back at the grounds yet.

“As LeFA, we believe that we can manage spectators very well if we can be given a specific percentage of spectators’ capacity at grounds. “We have our mitigation manual which was approved by NACOSEC and presented before the parliament which, in turn, appreciated it. “We want to set precedence as we did with other things such as club licensing. Lesotho is among the first six countries to implement the club licensing. “We want to be the first nation to return to football safely with spectators. We want to be pioneers and we have what it takes,” Phafane told the media on Tuesday this week.

He further mentioned that LeFA is going to persist urging the government to allow at least 30 percent capacity of spectators at grounds. “We will also request the government to order us to use vaccination certificates on entry at the grounds as a mitigation against the spread of Covid-19. Sponsors run away if there are no spectators at the grounds because they won’t be having any mileage. We can play safe,” he noted. He also highlighted that LeFA currently has two recommendations made regarding the future of the elite local leagues.

“The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) has recommended that LeFA abort the 2020/2021 league season without relegation but did not say anything about promotion while the A-Division Management Committee (ADMACO) made a recommendation to LeFA that the 2020/21 season be played to completion so that there will be promotion and relegation. Therefore, LeFA National Executive Committee will have a meeting with both committees on Wednesday to map a way forward,” he added. Phafane said former Likuena assistant coach, Shalane Lehohla, has been appointed to mentor the senior national women football team Mehalalitoe, adding that he will soon commence his camp in Mohale’s Hoek at a LeFA facility to shape his team for the upcoming competitions.

LeFA Secretary General, Mokhosi Mohapi said, during the same event, that there was a decision made before the past COSAFA Men Senior Cup as to who would take over as Mehalalitoe coach. “Then we earmarked Lehohla for Mehalalitoe but we had to place him with the men’s team so that he gets the international exposure at the past COSAFA Men Senior Challenge held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in July.

“We do not have enough coaches based on African club licensing hence we had to take a coach from the men’s team to the women team. CAF states that all the national teams’ coaches should have a CAF A License, that is why Leslie Notsi decided to make Lehohla his assistant at the COSAFA Cup for him to have a taste of the international football,” Mohapi said. He also noted that Lehohla is not new to women football as he earlier mentored Rovers Ladies before coaching LCS FC.


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