Lesotho looks to build on Caf progress

MASERU — Lesotho is looking to build on the success of qualifying for last month’s Caf African Youth Championship in South Africa last month.

In an exclusive interview with the Lesotho Times, Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) chief executive officer Mofihli Makoele said they were going to introduce radical changes to improve football in the country.

Makoele said these changes will see the association carrying out audits for the past two financial years which hadn’t been completed.

These were delayed because of the death of Lefa’s treasurer early last year.

The reports are now expected to be released after the association’s congress next month.

“On the 11th of June we are holding our congress. Normally there are reports from the president, the secretary and the treasurer,” Makoele told the Lesotho Times on Tuesday.

“It took the new treasure time, he had to go to the banks and revisit most of the work and that delayed the process.”

Lefa received US$300 000 from the world football governing body Fifa.

“The amount went to the upgrade and upkeep of Bambatha Tsita to host national teams, food, and installation of hot water at the facility. Part of the funds went towards conducting courses for referees courses and women’s soccer,” Makoele said.

“M2 million was allocated for Likuena by the ministry of sport last year but when the team went there they were told it was not there.

“We asked for M1.5 million for the trip to the recent Caf championships but we didn’t get it. We only received M500 000,” Makoele said.

“After the 2009 Confederations Cup, Fifa gave US$250 000 to Lefa and another US$300 000 after the World Cup last year,” Makoele said, adding that there would be many changes in local football next year.

The association intends to introduce a licensing and compliance system to improve the running of teams by setting targets for various undertakings.

“We are going to say by a certain date you should have a field, by a certain date you should have registered players and you should have contracts,” he said.

“There will be fewer teams from next season and that means more resources to be shared.”

Clubs would now be required to apply for licences to play in the premier league.

But Makoele warned that there would be sanctions for clubs that failed to comply.

“We will look into whether we will dock points for teams failing to meet the requirements.

“We don’t want to oppress teams but we want to move forward. It depends on whether teams agree to the new regulations.”

Makoele also revealed that Lefa was planning to turn the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena into an international class facility with work expected to begin this year.

The association would also ensure that clubs start playing on properly grassed fields.

Makoele said they will hold talks with the district administrator of Hlotse on the possibility of using an unused field in the area.

 “The first thing is that the field should be protected. We are concerned about the safety of match officials,” he said.

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