Lesotho finally secures World Rugby membership

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU – The Kingdom of Lesotho has finally secured the World Rugby membership, seven years after the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) made an application. This was after FLR recently pushed hard to secure the membership endorsement after it had to wait for its application since 2015. FLR Secretary General, Litšitso Motšeremeli, confirmed the development this week. Motšeremeli said Lesotho had, however, acquired an associate membership of the World Rugby and not full membership.

“What is important is that we have finally secured the World Rugby membership,” said Motšeremeli in an interview with Public Eye on Tuesday this week. “Our application, which we made in 2015, has only been considered by the World Rugby now and we have been placed under associate membership.” Testimony to this, the World Rugby Chief International Relations and Participation Officer, David Carrigy, wrote to notify FLR about the confirmation.

“I am pleased to inform you that Council at its Annual Meeting held on May 12, 2022 agreed that your Union be admitted into Associate Membership of World Rugby,” reads Carrigy’s letter. According to Carrigy, now as the associate member, FLR will directly communicate with World Rugby through its Chief Executive Officer on any matter concerning the playing or administration of the game.

FLR will also be notified about the agenda for general meetings of the World Rugby unlike before when they were non-members of the global rugby mother body. Another benefit for FLR as the World Rugby associate member is that it will now be invited to international rugby mother body conferences and congresses, including those on coaching, medical matters, laws and specific interest. Apart from that Motšeremeli said FLR had also been given two years to meet the requirements for the full membership of the World Rugby.

“We have also been given 24 months to see to it that we meet the requirements for the full membership. “This means if we can meet those requirements within two years we will then qualify to become full members of the World Rugby.” Motšeremeli said meeting the World Rugby requirements for full membership would not be a problem for his organisation.

In fact, he said FLR had met the requirements a long time ago. “To be honest, we have met all those requirements and we are ready to be assessed.” Motšeremeli said FLR would qualify for a development grant after being admitted as the World Rugby full members after two years. FLR is also a member of the continental rugby mother body, Rugby Africa.

The local rugby mother body was established in 2012 following the establishment of a club called Maseru Kings, who later changed their name to Giants. Kings, by then, competed in one of the Free State rugby amateur leagues in South Africa.

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