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Top Mount shelved

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU – The popular Top Mount Inter-District Competition has been shelved after district football associations failed to submit their financial reports for last year’s tournament on time.
Bam Consultancy has been forced to pull the plug on its sponsorship of the tournament this year over the embarrassing delays.
The Top Mount Inter-District Competition is contested by select teams from Lesotho’s 10 districts.
This year’s tournament was scheduled for March 6 and 7.
The edition would have been the third since the tournament — a reincarnation of the Bambatha Tšita Top Mount Competition which ran in the 1980s — was revived in 2008.
Mohale’s Hoek won the 2008 edition while Maseru took the honours last year.
As part of its sponsorship terms, Bam Consultancy had asked to the district football administrators to account for the prize money they got.
The company last year bankrolled the tournament to the tune of M300 000.
However, all district football associations failed to submit their financial reports by the deadline, November 13 last year.
When the deadline was extended by two weeks, only Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong and Qacha’s Nek managed to submit their reports.
BAM Consultancy director Ntšepeng Tšita revealed the last report was only received last week.
“The district football offices did not produce their audits on time,” she told the Lesotho Times yesterday.
“It is something we explained when we awarded last year’s prize money because we wanted to know how the money would be used.”
Bam Consultancy had stipulated that the district football associations would use at least 50 percent of their prize money on equipment for the development of the game.
“When we gave out the prizes we had a workshop with the district associations to show them what we wanted,” said Tšita.
“We kept reminding Lefa (the Lesotho Football Association), but time was running out and we have made the decision to discontinue this year’s tournament.”
Tšita said the district football associations’ failure to submit their financial reports on time had left them with little time to prepare for this year’s tournament.
“There is no time to prepare and it would have been unfair to the public to have a half-baked tournament,” she said.
“We received the last of the reports last week so you can imagine how difficult it would be to organise the tournament in such a short space of time.”
Tšita warned football authorities to take sponsors seriously.
“It is also to teach them that when a sponsor wants reports of the money they are pouring in the game it is important to do so,” she said.
Tšita however said Bam Consultancy would continue with the tournament next year once the reports had been audited.

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