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LeFA, Sports ministry fight

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Leemisa Thuseho

A FIGHT is raging between the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA).

This after the association on Tuesday released a strong worded statement disputing the ministry’s statements regarding Likuena’s trip from Benin to Maseru for the second leg of its Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

Likuena used a commercial flight from Johannesburg to Benin for its first leg of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Benin on Saturday. The team however, flew on the same chartered flight with Benin to Maseru for the return leg which was played on Tuesday.

LeFA says it shared the cost of chartering a flight with Benin.

However, the Sports minister Likeleli Tampane is said to have told different radio stations that that LeFA did not pay anything towards the chartered flight as instead, Benin footed the bill.

The statements have now infuriated LeFA who are calling the statements “baseless and misinformed”.

“It has come to the attention of LeFA that the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation Honourable Likeleli Tampane has made baseless and misinformed statements regarding the chartered flight used to fly Likuena and Benin to Lesotho…” reads a statement from LeFA.

“The Honourable Minister was not part of the reciprocal agreement made by the two associations and has no business discussing the reciprocal in the media.

“That as a matter of fact, the minister had absolutely no interest in how the national team travelled to and from Benin. Her ministry chose not to contribute even a cent towards the team.”

Unlike Likuena, Benin’s national team is fully funded by that country’s sports ministry, LeFA said.

Attempts to reach Tampane were fruitless yesterday. However, her ministry’s chief information officer Maqalika Matsepe insisted that LeFA did not pay for Likuena’s flight from Benin.

“It is not true that LeFA also paid for the flight… the Minister of Sports from Benin told us that Lesotho got a (free) ride,” Matsepe said.

LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi said they were not surprised by the Tampane’s actions accusing her of going all out in fighting LeFA.

“We have always expected this from the minister because since her arrival, it has been clear that she is fighting us,” Mohapi said.

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