LeFA picks Dobsonville Stadium for Seychelles match  

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Leemisa Thuseho

THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has picked Dobsonville Stadium in Gauteng, as the national senior soccer team’s home ground for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) preliminary round of qualifiers tie.

Likuena was drawn against Seychelles for the preliminaries.

The preliminary round matches will be played between 21 and 29 March this year marking the beginning of the campaign for the 2023 edition of the competition pencilled in for Ivory Coast.

Lesotho has been forced to take its international home games abroad after Setsoto Stadium was banned from hosting international matches by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last year due to its bad condition. Setsoto is Lesotho’s international stadium.

After CAF provided LeFA with a list of available and qualified venues in South Africa last month, LeFA has resolved to take the team’s home games to Dobsonville while Orlando Stadium is an alternative venue.

LeFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, announced the resolution yesterday during a press conference at the LeFA premises in Maseru.

“From the available approved stadiums in South Africa, we picked Dobsonville Stadium to be our home ground,” Mohapi said.

“Setsoto stadium is not ready to host international matches. We contacted CAF for available stadiums in South Africa and nearby available stadiums are the ones in Gauteng.”

Other stadia from which LeFA had to choose were FNB, Moses Mabidha, Nelson Mandela Bay, Cape Town, Peter Mokaba, Royal Bafokeng and Mbobela Stadiums.

Likuena will play the first game away on a yet to be announced date while the home game would be played on 26 March.

Mohapi said playing home matches on foreign land would be an unpleasant experience for the national team considering the higher budget. He also lamented the lack of government support for the national team.

“The national teams are the responsibility of the government but that is not the case in Lesotho. We wrote to the Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation through the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) alerting them about the upcoming international activities for national team.

“We alerted them of the likelihood of holding the home games abroad. We gave them our budgets for the games and the preparations but the ministry has just told the LSRC that it is facing financial constraints. Therefore, it cannot commit to contribute anything,” Mohapi said.

The team has already started training in preparation for the preliminaries. The side drew 3-3 with the University of Pretoria in a practice match on Tuesday.

 

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