MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has called an opposition MP “full of ignorance” for lobbying the government to stop funding the association.
Sello Maphalla, of the Lesotho Workers Party, last week vowed to pressure the government to stop funding an association whose actions it could not control.
The lawmaker was furious after Lefa decided not to register Lesotho for the 2010 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
The international football body Fifa’s strict regulations do not allow governments or politicians to interfere in the running of the game.
Yet Lefa gets M1million from the government through the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission every year.
“We are shocked and disgusted by Honorable MP Maphalla’s public declaration that he is going to lobby the government to stop funding Lefa,” Baba Malephane, Lefa’s public relations officer, told the Lesotho Times yesterday.
He said the MP was probably trying to score cheap political points by taking on an issue he didn’t fully understand.
“This just shows that Honorable Maphalla is full of ignorance in his talk and he is probably pushing his own political agenda,” Malephane said.
He said Maphalla should have consulted Lefa first to find out the reasons the association decided to pull Likuena out of the next Nations Cup tournament.
“He must first practise what he preaches by consulting with the relevant bodies to verify his facts before going public with his ignorant speeches,” Malephane said.
“If the MP does not have any clue about football matters, he must first consult with the association before embarrassing himself in public.”
Malephane said he was confident Maphalla’s push for the government to cut off Lefa would find no buyers.
“It is useless for him because he is not going to gain anything from this,” he said.
“He might even find himself on his own trying to lobby that (idea) in parliament.”
Malephane said there was no need for Lefa to consult the public about their decision not to enter Likuena, as the national team is popularly known, in the biennial competition.
“There was absolutely no need for us to consult with the public because we were not formulating a policy here,” he said.
“We’ve just made a decision because we’ve got the mandate given to us by the people who elected us.”
“Our mandate is to develop football in this country,” he added.