Bantu set pace in Lesotho football

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MASERU — From the 2011/12 season Premier League side Bantu will be sponsored by Metropolitan Lesotho with Puma acting as their technical supplier.

While this may be old news, what is still significant is the Mafeteng side’s continued progression.

The developments show Bantu are one of the most progressive clubs in Lesotho football.

And judging by the club’s end of season gala dinner that was held at the Maseru Sun hotel towards the end of last month, A Matšo Matebele have a bright future.

The event was a high class affair with Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation ‘Mathabiso Lepono being among the key guests.

Bantu, meanwhile, now have 7 164 registered supporters which is the highest recorded number of supporters in Lesotho and which is one of the very first steps to conducting effective sports business.

In short Bantu have laid down a marker for all clubs in the country to follow.

This Bantu team — it shouldn’t be forgotten — was only promoted to the Vodacom Premier League at the start of last season after a four-year hiatus.

The Mafeteng giants finished sixth in their first season back then and in the last campaign improved to a highly impressive third-place finish to guarantee a coveted top four spot.

Football teams it can be said are a microcosm of their whole district and Bantu have in some ways lifted the mood in and around Mafeteng.

Through the hard work of the Bantu executive board A Matšo Matebele have sourced multiple sponsorships and partnerships for the benefit of the club.

Standard Bank, Nedbank and Thescons, to name a few, were all present at Bantu’s gala while Metropolitan Insurance now officially partners the club.

It is a sign of a club that is serious about lifting the shadow of amateur football and move towards becoming a professional entity.

One of the last pieces to the puzzle is Bantu’s home ground.

The Mafeteng side has done a good job in getting their home base fenced through the help of a Mafeteng-based company Mafeteng Concrete.

This is where local government now comes into play, to provide facilities for clubs.

For Bantu to get anywhere near the club’s commendably ambitious plans they need to have access to the new ground in Mafeteng.

A lot of money has been spent on the government-backed stadium and yet there is no sign of when the ground will be completed.

Speaking at Bantu’s gala dinner Lepono admitted there was no real reason why work at the stadium had not been completed.

“It should have been done a long time ago but we looked at the lowest bidder. But he didn’t have the expertise of buildings stadiums,” Lepono said.

In all truth it has to be done by the start of the new season.

Talk, lest it be forgotten, doesn’t get anyone anywhere. It is the responsibility of local government to help sports clubs with facilities.

And there are clubs that have shown a serious willingness to improve and they deserve all the help they can get.

One of these clubs is certainly Mafeteng’s Bantu.

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