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Sports propose the return of fans

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Moorosi Tsiane

THE task team set for sports federations to engage the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) met for the first time with the secretariat this week to propose the return of spectators to the grounds.

Task team spokesperson Teboho Rakhomo told the Lesotho Times this week that they proposed to have at most 2500 supporters allowed into venues for Vodacom Premier League matches. They also proposed to have 1500 spectators for matches in lower divisions.

“We had a successful meeting with the NACOSEC and among other things, we discussed allowing supporters to attend matches after sports were given a greenlight to resume last month,” Rakhomo said.

“As much as we have been given a greenlight to return to action, most associations are still not ready because it is going to be very expensive to hold the camps as stipulated by the NACOSEC.

“But for football teams, which looked more organised, we are requesting that they be allowed to have fans because we know they need the revenue generated from gate takings.”

The task team proposed to use a ticketing system to ensure all teams do not exceed the stipulated number of fans in stadiums.

“We know it will not be easy to control the spectators because most of our grounds do not have facilities that make it easier to count spectators. However, we are advising that teams must sell tickets, which will also help them generate income.”

The government in January suspended all sporting activities after a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. The move, along with a hard lockdown, was meant to arrest the increase in infections which had been driven by the December 2020 festive season travellers from neighbouring South Africa.

The ban was however, lifted in March although sports were now ordered to bar spectators and also keep athletes and officials in safe camps until the end of their respective competitions.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has already protested the directive with a letter to NACOSEC last week. The letter is however yet to be replied.

 

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