M80k for each premiership team

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Moorosi Tsiane

EACH of the 14 Econet Premier League teams will soon get M80 000 from the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) meant to cushion them against the Covid-19 pandemic.

LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi told the media at a press briefing on Monday that their national executive committee (NEC) had now completed planning how the funds would be disbursed among the teams. Although he did not specify a date, he said the clubs would get the money “soon”.

The funds were acquired from FIFA, which last month announced that each of its 211 member associations would get US$1.5 million (about M26.2 million), and CAF, which also said all its 54 member associations would receive US$300 000 (about M5.2 million), in relief funds.

According to Mohapi, PostBank A Division teams will each get M40 000 while B and C division teams will each get M10 000 and M6 000 respectively.

Mohapi said the association received the first batch of funds amounting to M8 660 000 from FIFA.

Premier League teams will share M1.12 million while A Division teams will share M800 000. The B and C Divisions will share M4.58 million and M1.086 million respectively.

LeFA structures will get M395 000 while M679 000 has been set aside to fund preparations for the return on football activities next season.

“Last week we received the first batch of the relief funding from FIFA and the NEC sat on Sunday met to strategise how the funds will be disbursed,” Mohapi said.

Mohapi said the money came with strict regulations from FIFA and LeFA has also formulated a complementary set of rules to ensure that all the funds are accounted for.

He said the teams are only allowed to use the money to pay players or buy football equipment that they may need in the next season.

“We are expecting the beneficiaries to account for all the money and there will be serious consequences including expulsion for failing to account for the money.

“We do not want the rest of the teams to suffer because of the errant behaviour of one team.

“We must also account to FIFA before accessing the second batch of the funds which is expected in January,” Mohapi said.

LeFA president Salemane Phafane said they are already conducting studies on the best actions to take before sanctioning the return of soccer action.

“We also think it is important that we start the preparations now. We have already started studies and have been in contact with some of our counterparts in the region trying to share ideas on how best we can work…

“One way or the other, at some point football will have to return, so we want to ensure that it is safe for everyone by the time that it returns as we don’t want people catching the virus at the grounds and infecting each other” Phafane said.

He said considering the anticipated high costs and expenses to be incurred before the return of football, the M700 000 that they have set aside to fund the preparations may be inadequate.

He said they would also form a committee that will include health experts to ensure that football would be safe.

“For now, we are not ready. We will only return when the infection curve has flattened to ensure that all the people involved would be safe.”

He said they were also yet to apply for the relief fund that was promised by FIFA for women football.

“FIFA has allocated US$500 000 (M8.7 million) for women’s soccer but we are yet to apply for it.

“Once we get it, we will disburse it accordingly,” Phafane said.

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