LeFA approaches govt, FIFA for bailout

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has requested for assistance from the government and FIFA to help it mitigate the financial challenges brought about by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi told the Lesotho Times yesterday that they wrote to FIFA on Tuesday after submitting their request for relief assistance from the government on Sunday.

The move is on the back of FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s recent announcement of a US$2.7 billion facility to bail out the footballing community from the throes of the pandemic that is threatening to cripple global economies.

Although Lesotho is yet to record any cases, the virus has killed nearly 130 000 people and infected a staggering 2 million people.

Closer to home, in neighbouring South Africa, the disease has killed close to 30 people while over 2 000 others have been infected.

Local football teams have also been feeling the pinch of the three-week lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane last month since they have not been getting any revenue from gate takings.

However, Mohapi said the funds for which they have applied to FIFA are not meant for teams.

“It must be clear that the funds that we have applied for are not for the teams because FIFA only deals with associations,” Mohapi said.

“However, we can still decide when we have received the funds whether or not to help the teams.”

Instead, Mohapi said the funds to assist the teams have been requested from the government.

“We have submitted a request for relief assistance for our elite clubs to the government. The funds are not meant to help the teams run their affairs but to help them survive the effects of the Coronavirus.

“The funds will assist teams in all our four leagues namely the Premier League, A-Division, Women Super League and B-Division,” Mohapi said.

He was however, reluctant to reveal the amount they have requested for from the government saying “it is a sensitive issue”.

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