MASERU — Three local referees have accused the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) of holding on to their payments from Fifa for officiating during an international match five months ago.
The officials were in Comoros for five days in September to handle a Fifa World Cup qualifier between the hosts and Mozambique.
Mozambique won the tie 1-0.
But five months down the line, referee Mohau Setšo and his two assistants, David Jane and Osias Koto, are still to receive their dues.
Setšo is entitled to get US$2 500 (M19 011) while Jane and Koto were each due to get US$1 750 (M13 307) for the assignment.
One of the three who asked for anonymity told the Lesotho Times that although they are aware that Fifa had deposited their money into Lefa’s bank account on December 29, they were still to be paid their dues.
He said Lefa officials had confirmed receiving their money from the world football governing body.
He however claimed that Lefa had informed them that the association had used the money for Likuena’s trip to Sao Tomé last month.
“As international referees, we went to officiate a Fifa match where Comoros were hosting Mozambique on September 11 last year.
“But we’ve not received our payments since then and when we approached Ntate Mofihli Makoele (Lefa chief executive officer) last Friday, he told us he was going to look into the matter,” he said.
He said it was only on Monday that Makoele confirmed to them that Fifa had deposited their payments into Lefa’s account on December 29.
“We again met with Ntate Makoele yesterday (Tuesday) and he confirmed the payments had been made into Lefa’s account.
“He told us that our money was used to help finance the team’s (Likuena) trip to Sao Tomè.”
The referee said although Lefa might have used the money “unawares” they still needed it.
He added Lefa had since promised to pay them before the end of the week.
“Ntate Makoele has assured us that we will get our money this week because Lefa are waiting for their money from the government,” he said.
Makoele however refused to comment on the issue when contacted yesterday.
Lefa receives their subvention from the government through the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).
LSRC public relations officer, Jobo Raswoko, yesterday said there is a possibility that they could get money from the government “anytime from now”.
“There is a possibility that we might get it (money) anytime from now,” Raswoko said.
“However, experience has taught us that we get our money in the last week of the second month of the quarter (February) or first week of that quarter (March).”