Too early to talk about clubs’ rescue package-Mohapi
LESOTHO Football Association (LeFA) secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi says it is still premature for the association to commit to helping local clubs financially in the wake of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Mohapi said this to the Lesotho Times this week.
This comes after the FIFA Gianni Infantino president recently proposed that the football mother body fork out US$2.7 billion from its reserves to help the footballing community to recover from the pandemic.
For the fund to be released, it would however, require the approval of the FIFA Council, a 36-member group made up of soccer officials from the sport’s six regional confederations.
The Coronavirus pandemic has so far killed over 70 000 people globally while infections have surpassed 1.2 million. Closer to home in South Africa, the virus has so far killed 11 people while over 1 600 infections have been recorded.
Although Lesotho is yet to record any cases, the government has been on high alert since last month declaring a national lockdown which ends on 21 April 2020. Prior to the lockdown, the government had declared a moratorium on all gatherings of above 100 people and closed schools. LeFA also followed suit banning all matches.
However, the reality is that while the Coronavirus has so far been successfully kept at bay in Lesotho, the economic effects will have lasting effects. The teams are not making money because they are not getting any gate takings but their financial obligations regarding their players and staff remain constant.
Mohapi told the Lesotho Times this week that the LeFA national executive committee is yet to discuss an assistance package matter hence they were not yet in a position to make any commitments.
“It is premature for us to say anything regarding that issue because I cannot make that decision on my own,” Mohapi said.
“The NEC must decide and for now, that matter has not been discussed, so I can’t commit to anything.”
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) president Isha Johansen has confirmed that the association will donate about M1.2 million to help their premier league and the first and second divisions to assist them survive the Coronavirus scourge.
About M800 000 of that money will go to the premier league teams while the remaining M480 000 will be shared among the lower tier clubs.
Mohapi said if they are to implement the same measure in Lesotho, then they may have to trim their budgets for other projects.
“If we are to give teams money now, we might as well be forced to cut some of our interventions like the assistance for teams participating in the CAF Champions’ League.
“However, I don’t want to say anything definitive because the executive will have to decide. I must say though, for now; there is nothing of that nature on the table,” Mohapi said.