MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, says there are serious administrative flaws within the football association.
Makoele, who assumed the reins after replacing acting chief executive officer Mokhosi Mohapi last September, was speaking in an exclusive interview with the Lesotho Times on Monday.
He said the administrative flaws were seriously affecting the management of the game in Lesotho.
Makoele said the biggest problem was lack of discipline that had rendered the association ineffective.
He said this lack of discipline was clearly on display during the recent Vodacom Soccer Spectacular tournament.
Matlama Football Club’s match against Mokhotlong LMPS was called off last week after Matlama and the tournament sponsor Vodacom Lesotho failed to agree on who was entitled to the day’s gate-takings.
Matlama were eventually kicked out of the tournament last Sunday.
“There is no discipline and professionalism is lacking,” Makoele said.
“It was a laissez-faire attitude. Everyone may have understood what they had to do but the attitude was ‘I will do it later’.
“This past week we spent countless late nights trying to solve problems at the last minute, problems that had been caused by this approach,” Makoele said.
He said he will work hard to try and improve the administration of local football but needed the approval of the Lefa congress to implement changes.
Lefa will hold its congress on November 27 to chart the way forward.
The congress is held after every two years.
Makoele said the association needed to learn from the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular mess and take charge of things in organising future tournaments.
“During the MGC Supa 8 Lefa’s events and communication sub-committees joined hands and they did the job so well.
“Everything was well planned and things were done on time. The Top Four (Independence Cup) didn’t have any problems because it was run by the premier league.
“Here (Vodacom Soccer Spectacular) we allowed ourselves to be on the sidelines. Vodacom were more hands on and they were in a territory they were not accustomed to and you are letting them down when you do that.
“This week we have a series of meetings to discuss and plot a better way forward,” Makoele said.
Read the full interview in the Sunday Express this Sunday.
Meanwhile, Vodacom Lesotho says it has no plans to pull out of Lesotho’s football in the wake of recent controversies surrounding the running of the game.
Vodacom’s head of commercial Tšabiso Letsoela told a press conference on Monday that the telecoms giant was in Lesotho’s football for the long haul.
“We commit ourselves to continue because we know what we are doing. We won’t withdraw even if people may want us to do so.” Letsoela said.
“If we withdraw our sponsorship then where do we go from there? Even with my pleas that other companies should also sponsor football it is clear that this is not happening,” Letsoela said.
Vodacom’s image has been tarnished in recent weeks following the shambolic manner in which the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular was organised.
There were fears that Vodacom Lesotho would pull out of football as a result.
“Vodacom has a board and shareholders. Of course they won’t be happy with the situation, people saying Vodacom is destroying football,” Letsoela said.
“There is no reason why Vodacom would fight over gate takings.”
Letsoela said Lefa should do its job.
“Lefa do your job, you have our support. Protect our football,” Letsoela said.
The Vodacom Soccer Spectacular ended on Sunday with Likhopo beating last year’s champions Matlama 1-0 to claim the M360 000 first prize.
However by that time the tournament had descended into a farce.
In fact Linare and LDF only played their third-place playoff yesterday in a clear sign of the chaos that marred the tournament.
Last week saw a row over gate takings which contributed to the cancellation of Matlama’s quarterfinal against Mokhotlong LMPS.
The finals at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena were hit by poor turnout.