MASERU – African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Organising Committee Chairperson Stanley Mutoya says they are satisfied with the state of readiness for Lesotho as the host country for the Maseru 2020 AUSC games.
Mutoya told the media briefing on Tuesday that Lesotho has the capacity to host these games and added that Lesotho has enough facilities in terms of grounds and halls to smoothly host the games in December. The grounds only need renovation to be in good state and the construction has begun at Setsoto Stadium where the contractor will install the new field track and artificial turf before the end of November.
He further added that the tennis courts will also have few renovations while Rapokolana Recreational Centre where swimming will occur needs few touch-ups to give it shape. “Netball will be played at Maseru Prep and the courts are in good shape and Lesotho High School hall is ready for taekwondo and judo. We only need to partition so that the training side would not interfere with the competition side during the games,” he highlighted.
Mutoya also mentioned that the National University of Lesotho (NUL) and the Lesotho College of Education (LCE) will be used as athletes and officials ‘residence in December and pointed that the games’ opening ceremony will be on December 3 while the closing ceremony will be held on December 12. “Region 5 Troika of Sports Ministers in August resolved that the Region invite other countries which are not Region 5 members. That is why we now have 13 countries to partake in this ninth edition of the games.
Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles have confirmed that they will send their football teams to compete. We are welcoming the teams Chef de Missions on Wednesday and will host the teams draw on Friday October 22,” he said. According to Mutoya, troika of Sports Ministers last week resolved that all the athletes and officials to partake in the games should have fully vaccinated as a way to abide by Lesotho government regulation that Basotho be vaccinated by November 1 to have access in grounds.
“We only encouraged athletes to be vaccinated but now that Lesotho has made a regulation, we have no choice but to follow it,” he added. Lesotho various teams faced some challenges in preparing for the games due to some financial crisis and lack of suitable equipment among other things while the football team began its preparation earlier this year and has played two friendly games in eSwatini. The games will be held behind the closed doors.