THE Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has condemned Setsoto Stadium for hosting FIFA fixtures.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced this week that Setsoto Stadium and a host of other stadia in Senegal, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mali, Central African Republic, Burundi, Eritrea, Chad, Gambia and Namibia had been banned from hosting FIFA fixtures.
All the countries whose stadia have been condemned will have to play their home games in the World Cup qualifiers starting in June in foreign countries.
Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed the news to the Lesotho Times yesterday. He however, said Lesotho was not affected by the ban after being knocked out from the qualifiers by Ethiopia in 2019.
“The banning of Setsoto Stadium for Likuena matches in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers is a bit confusing because at this point, Likuena is not taking part in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers,” Mohapi said.
“The circular that listed the names of stadia that will not be used in the qualifiers was sent to member associations who are still in contention for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers of which Likuena is not one of the teams.”
He said the suspension however, serves as a wakeup call to the government as it is the one responsible for maintaining the stadium.
“This serves as a wakeup call that those responsible for infrastructural development should start as early as now in developing new facilities. They have an opportunity with the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games to be held in Lesotho in December.”
Mohapi said FIFA has given LeFA a template of its expectations on the stadia to be used in hosting qualifiers and they in turn informed the ministry but the matter was never attended to.
“In hosting its qualifiers, FIFA wants a certain standard of stadia and they gave us the template of what they were expecting. LeFA informed the Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation Ministry and invited them for a discussion but unfortunately, they never showed up. So, FIFA has ruled the ground out.
“However, for CAF matches, we can still use Setsoto Stadium because its standards are different from those of FIFA,” Mohapi said.