MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) is broke.
The football governing body last week failed to pay its employees their January salaries, the Lesotho Times can reveal.
A source within Lefa said the association was only rescued by its president, Salemane Phafane, who loaned it M100 000 to pay staff salaries.
However, only junior staff members received their salaries because the money was not enough to cater for all staff, the source said.
“Lefa does not have money at all, they nearly failed to pay staff salaries had it not been for Phafane’s mercy to loan them M100 000,” he said.
Middle and senior management officials are still to get their January salaries, the source said.
Lefa are reportedly still running around looking for other means to raise the money to pay these employees.
The association’s monthly wage bill stands at M170 000 so this means an additional M70 000 is still required to pay the rest of the staff.
“The money Phafane loaned to Lefa was used to pay juniors and management went home empty-handed this month,” the source said.
However, Lefa chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, has rejected allegations that the association is broke.
He said they could not pay salaries on time because there was a delay in receiving their quarterly subvention from the government.
“It is not true that we are broke,” Makoele said on Tuesday.
“We delayed paying our staff because we did not get our money on time, hence this must have caused this rumour,” he said.
Lefa pay their employees on the 25th of every month but in January their salaries were only deposited into their accounts on Monday, January 30.
Makoele said the delay in paying employees was caused by the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC)’s failure to give them their quarterly government subvention on time.
“We were expecting our quarter government subvention on January 1 but LSRC delayed in giving us that money.
“They have not disclosed the reasons.”
He confirmed that Phafane came to their rescue and loaned the association some money but he could not disclose the amount.
“Ntate Phafane paid all the Sao Tomé expenses from his own pocket but I really can’t disclose the amounts,” Makoele said.
“But it’s not even M100 000, it’s more than that,” he said.
Phafane had to loan the association the money after Likuena missed their flight to Sao Tomé after they initially failed to land in Gabon.
In a separate interview, LSRC public relations officer, Jobo Raswoko, said Lefa must shoulder the blame.
“Never ever since the establishment of this commission have we ever received our quarterly subvention on the first day of January.
“We’ve always received the subvention in the second month of every quarter and it’s normally towards the end.
“We’ve never given Lefa any subvention on the first day of January and they know that it is strictly impossible for Lefa to bank on us for them to be able to pay their salaries,” Raswoko said on Tuesday.
He said that Lefa must shoulder the blame for their failure to pay salaries.
“The blame is entirely on their (Lefa) mismanagement because they knew they were never going to get their subvention on January 1,” Raswoko said.
“This must be a lesson to them to manage and budget well to avoid things like this and stop shifting the blame to us.”
It was wrong for Lefa to start accusing the commission because “we’ve always supported them even going the extra length”.
Raswoko added: “We helped them recently when we gave them LSRC money to finance the national team.
“The mismanagement and lack of budgeting on Lefa’s side are the main cause of this problem and this must be a lesson to them.”