Lefa begs government to use Setsoto

MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has pleaded with the Ministry of Sports to be allowed to use Setsoto Stadium for Sunday’s match pitting the national Under-20s against their Kenyan counterparts.

Lesotho host Kenya in the second leg of their final qualifying match for the African Youth Championships in Libya next year.

However, the Ministry of Sports had barred Lefa from using the country’s only stadium suitable for international matches because of outstanding proceeds from gate-takings.

Lefa owes the ministry M50 000 from gate-takings made during national Under-17 and Under-20 matches played at Setsoto this year.

The stadium, which has been undergoing renovations since 2008, is owned by the government.

The Ministry of Sports takes 20 percent of proceeds realised from the use of the stadium.

However, Lefa did not remit anything to the ministry after the national Under-17 and Under-20 sides played Cameroon and South Africa respectively in continental qualifiers.

This led to the ministry advising Lefa not to use Setsoto until the issue was settled.

This would have affected Makoanyane XI’s crunch tie against Kenya on Sunday.

Lesotho, having beaten Kenya 1-0 away in Nairobi, need at least a draw to make it to the youth championships in Libya.

“We received a letter from the Ministry of Sports on Friday ordering us to pay M50 000 for the gate-takings from the Under-17 and Under-20 matches against Cameroon and South Africa,” Lefa chief executive officer Mofihli Makoele told the Lesotho Times.

“Initially we were not allowed to use the stadium for the weekend match unless we paid M50 000.”

He said they had successfully pleaded with the ministry to be allowed to continue using Setsoto while the gate-takings issue was being resolved.

“At the moment we have agreed in principle that we will use the stadium for the weekend match while we are still waiting to solve other problems,” Makoele said.

He said Lefa had not paid the money because the association wanted special treatment from the ministry because it owned the artificial turf at the stadium.

“There was some fighting over the usage of the stadium in the past months,” Makoele said.

“Lefa wanted the sports ministry not to charge it 20 percent like everybody else because we have an artificial turf installed at the stadium for us by Fifa.”

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