LeFA must have a plan
IT has been a full two months since local football leagues were halted by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) following the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The outbreak forced the government into enforcing a state of emergency which was followed by a series of lockdowns that ensured that all leagues remained closed.
In an interview with our sister paper, the Sunday Express, LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi said they would meet the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC) on Tuesday (yesterday).
Mohapi said their meeting would determine what course of action to take regarding the resumption of soccer activities.
For me, this is shocking because LeFA had more than two months to study the situation.
While I am aware that lives are at stake, I feel LeFA must immediately make its decision on the future.
In April, LeFA received M9 million from FIFA which we had hoped would be used in helping teams during this period but Mohapi made it very clear that the money was meant to help the association not teams.
LeFA held a series of meetings that with the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) to discuss the way forward but two months down the line, there is no clear path.
In April LeFA released a statement alluding to four scenarios that were likely to play out among them aborting the league, extending the season, playing with no spectators or playing only at designated stadia.
Now they have already extended the season but the teams would be the worst affected because they haven’t received any of the promised relief funding since March.
It’s a known fact that local teams survive mostly on gate takings and if they are not playing, then there is no money. They are nevertheless, expected to continue paying players.
The bottom line is that LeFA must immediately come up with a solution.
If the association believes that it is ready to resume matches, then it must convince the government to give it a greenlight to resume soccer activities.
Most players’ contracts are ending this month and it is going to be challenging for the teams to convince them to stay until the end of July when the season is now expected to end when they are already struggling to pay them.
I personally believe that if LeFA has a clear plan, the government will reconsider and maybe allow them to finish off the remaining matches in the A Division and the premier league.
We can’t keep waiting for the government to decide without giving it guidance. After all, LeFA has among its ranks the specialists in terms of soccer-related matters.
There is ample proof that we have never had a government that values sports. It thus is foolhardy to expect the same people to be proactive on LeFA’s behalf as an important stakeholder in the sports fraternity