THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) says the Ministry of Sports owes them over M10million and the association should not be blamed for the shambolic preparations which culminated in the national soccer team’s poor showing in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
This was said this week by LeFA Secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi at a press conference to explain the national team, Likuena’s recent poor showing where they suffered back-to-back defeats to Uganda.
Likuena were hammered 3-nil in Uganda and they also lost the return match 2-0.
Likuena’s preparations were shambolic to the extent that the Ugandans arrived in Lesotho earlier than their hosts for the return fixture.
This week, Mohapi laid the blame for Likuena’s poor showing at the doorstep of the Sports Ministry, saying LeFA was not getting enough support from the government to efficiently run the affairs of Likuena.
“We present our budget a year before the qualifiers and we have been complaining for as long as we cannot remember about the delays in processing (funding),” Mohapi said.
“The story is well documented that to date they owe us M10 million since 2012. We can even add another M1, 4 million. Is it a bad debt?
“It seems they (ministry) cannot change and we get the money when it suits them at the expense of the national pride and national flag. That’s how civils servants work. They do things at their own pace.
“Not much care is given to what will happen at the end.”
Mohapi said it was always going to be difficult to charter a plane to return home as they always struggled to pay for normal flight tickets due to the ministry’s delay in releasing funding.
His sentiments were echoed by Likuena manager and LeFA executive committee member Rantsubisetse Matete who said that the poor performances of the national team had nothing to do with perceived incompetence on the part of LeFA.
“I want to make it clear that issues regarding the trip to Uganda are not the problems of LeFA incompetence as some of the reporters put it,” Matete said.
“I have travelled with the national teams for many years that and this time I have seen the administration doing everything so well.
“LeFA hired a hotel for the team and paid over M234 000 so that the team could have good accommodation (in Uganda).
“We made the payments while we were still in Lesotho and the team travelled comfortably. Since I started working with the national teams, it was the first time that I saw such good arrangements.
“I was told by Uganda football administration that their national president (Yoweri Museveni) chartered a flight and gave the players hefty bonuses.
“With Uganda it was done by the president hence they arrived in Maseru before us and it’s not about the incompetence of LeFA.
But there was no way that LeFA would have chartered a flight for Likuena. On our own, we cannot afford to do that. Our funds are not enough for it,” Matete said.