Associations threaten Sports ministry


Leemisa Thuseho

LOCAL sports associations are threatening to withdraw their teams from the upcoming African Union Spot Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games that will be hosted by the country in December 2020.

This after the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation said it was unable to finance the associations’ sporting activities until further notice.

The ministry cited that it is currently enduring financial challenges.

In reaction to the ministry’s announcement, the Lesotho Sport and Recreations Commission (LSRC) met with the associations’ presidents in a closed-door meeting at the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) premises on Sunday.

The meeting resolved that the federations petition the ministry and if the ministry fails to respond positively on or before 15 March 2020, the association will call a press conference and withdraw their teams.

The associations say that if there is no money to finance their development programmes, then none of the athletes would be ready to compete in December.

Association and federations depend on the annual government subventions remitted through the LSRC but none of them received the funds in the current financial year. This after the LSRC’s annual budget was reduced from M9 million to M2 million.

LSRC public relations officer Teboho Rakhomo confirmed the resolution and added that the sporting fraternity was extremely unhappy with the situation.

He said the M2 million was only enough to pay LSRC staff, rentals and the day to day running of the commission.

“The sporting fraternity is bitter because of the lack of finances to fund their developmental programmes. So far, none of our multiple meetings with the ministry have had any positive outcome.

“After several fruitless meetings with the ministry, we called for another meeting to map the way forward because the sports are suffering. We are so determined that we want to know what the ministry was allocated this year and we are prepared to approach the parliament’s economy and development portfolio to get the fact right,” Rakhomo said.

He said if they fail to make headway, they would withdraw their athletes from competing in the 2020 AUSC Region 5 Games.

“Whether Lesotho hosts or not is out of question, we will withdraw our athletes from the AUSC Games,” Rakhomo concluded.


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