OUTSPOKEN Golden Arrows coach Steve Komphela has heaped praises on Bantu for its efforts to improve local football.
The former Kaizer Chiefs and Bloemfontein Celtic coach said this during Bantu’s ninth annual gala dinner in Maseru on Saturday.
The event was attended by among others Sports Minister Mahali Phamotse, Labour minister Keketso Rantšo and Minister of Finance Moeketsi Majoro among others.
Komphela said platforms like the dinner afforded the team’s leaders to prove the value of their brand to potential sponsors.
“I commend Bantu for coming up with such a great idea because for me, this is very beautiful coming from a growing team,” Komphela said.
“This kind of platform gives those in power and potential investors a taste of the value they can add to sport and an idea of how best they can help. I am thankful to companies that bought tables in support of this initiative.”
He said Lesotho needs to keep developing football and looking at how to export it as it can add great value to the country’s economy.
“As a country, you have to find ways to develop this product (football) and export it.
“Countries like Brazil are making a lot of money from football as their players’ earnings have a bearing on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). England is also making a lot of money through football so we need to see the same for Lesotho.
“Basotho need to increase their numbers in the South African premier league as that will also benefit the country.”
He said just like education football can play a major role in improving the country’s economy.
“We need to improve the quality and if you persist then you will achieve it. I equate sport to education in that it can also make money and helps in building youth leaders in character, respect and honesty,” Komphela said.
Komphela said the players should use sport to change people’s perceptions and develop people’s lives.
“Use sport to change society and make statements that will elevate people. Don’t undermine yourself because you have the potential to do this. Let us strive for greater heights.
“Ntate Leuta (Bantu president John Leuta) talked about the Bantu village and I like that idea; never give up on it. It might sound like it’s a far-fetched dream for now but some people see a seed as a seed while others see a seed as a forest. Sometimes when they don’t believe in it, they will say, “it cannot happen but dont get discouraged”. There will be a time when investors will take pride in Lesotho football and we just need to go beyond mental understanding,” Komphela said.