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Something is fishy in the LNSA

by Lesotho Times


Mikia Kalati

OF the numerous prescient statements in the Good Book, there is none that best captures the end result of the squabbles currently rocking the Lesotho National Squash Association (LNSA) as well the verse in the book of Mark which admonishes against internal divisions.

According to Mark, Jesus Christ warned that “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand”.

And as we reported early this week, LNSA is currently a warzone with two committees locked in a bitter struggle for control of the association.

One committee, led by Mohapinyane Taole, was elected to lead the association in 2015 and there is another under the leadership of founding member and veteran sports administrator General Sentle.

Something is certainly not right here, what with the fact that the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) recognises the Taole committee while the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) has thrown its weight behind Sentle.

This is fishy but then I’m not overly surprised by this scenario which threatens to destroy the sport.

After all, sports administration in this country has always been blighted by lack of transparency and accountability.

Sports administrators seem to take after politicians by stubbornly clinging onto power.

There are sporting equivalents of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. The nonagenarian who has ruled Zimbabwe uninterrupted since independence from Britain in 1980 turns 93 on the 24th of this month but even in the face of his evident age-induced physical frailties his wife has announced that he will continue to rule from a specially designed wheelchair and from the grave if need be.

We have had in football, former Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) presidents João” de Havelange and Joseph (Sepp) Blatter who refused to step aside for many years despite advancing age.

Havelange led FIFA from 1974 to 1998 making him the second longest serving boss in FIFA history after France’s Jules Rimet. Havelange died last year aged 100 while his successor Blatter resisted calls to go and clung on from 1998 to 2015. He would have continued had he not been forced out by corruption allegations that still hang over his head.

Closer to home we have the 70 year-old Cameroonian, Issa Hayatou who has been Confederation of African Football (CAF) president since March 1988.

Back to the LNSA scenario, we have Sentle who has seen it all in sports administration, having been involved in golf, in the LNOC and is of course a founder member of LNSA.

All of this should be appreciated and indeed celebrated but nothing lasts forever. Sports administration is not a throne where leaders are ordained to rule for life and it is imperative and indeed a noble thing that a certain point, young blood must be allowed to take over.

Sentle’s input cannot be erased from the sporting annals. He has served his country for so long in various capacities and that is also because he was given a chance by others. He needs to give others a chance to also bring in their expertise.

It is telling in itself that while the LNSA squabbles have raged unabated since 2015 after the election of the Taole committee, the LNOC has continued to fold its arms and refrained from mediating.

They might have been busy with preparations for last year’s Olympic Games in Brazil but bringing sanity to the LNSA should have been a priority as well.

Without getting into the finer details, I really feel that it is time for change as far as the leadership of different sports associations are concerned.

All administrators who have been in power for over three terms should consider making way for younger administrators.

Wiser heads have said that the only constant in life is change. Change is good and it could well be the panacea to our perennial struggles in international competitions.

Things could change for the better if the likes of LNOC, LNSA and the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) all charted the future with new leaders at the helm.

Who can ever forget the embarrassing spectacle of the likes of former Libyan and Ivory Coast leaders Muammar Gaddafi and Laurent Gbagbo who had to hide in sewers and manholes in their vain attempts to evade capture after years of resisting calls to step down.

Our sports administrators are certainly not going to be subjected to such extreme degradation but still there is no need for them to wait until they are pushed out like their political counterparts.

My humble advice is to leave while people still appreciate you.

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