THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) this week announced its M1, 2 million partnership with the Lesotho PostBank that will see the A Division getting a three-year sponsorship.
For a long time, the league has been bankrolled by LeFA and the teams were getting paltry rewards considering that the winners would pocket just about M20 000.
The division will now be called the PostBank League and will see the winners from both north and south streams pocket M50 000.
I know that running a football team is very expensive but for a change, teams will now play with the knowledge that by the end of the season, they stand to get something. This is a positive development as previously; the teams would be in the dark about their rewards.
This was also worsened by LeFA’s persistent delays to release the money so much that sometimes, the winning teams would only get their prizes just before the commencement of the new season.
The division is made up of the 20 teams grouped into the north and south streams. Each stream has 10 teams and the winner of each stream is promoted to the top flight league. The teams that finish last are also relegated to the lower league.
However, lack of funding has been one of the major obstacles hindering the growth of the local football and has also seen some teams collapse.
But now, the situation looks promising with PostBank coming on board to invest in sport.
I hope this sponsorship will also help improve the level of competition in the PostBank League as there is an apparent gap between premier league teams and those in the lower divisions.
We must start seeing PostBank League teams competing in the market to purchase players who can add value to their squads. This will now be possible with the financial muscle that the teams stand to get with a new sponsor on board.
Without doubt, this has been the missing link in local football. It is now up to the teams to improve their quality and make the league more competitive.
I believe increasing the competition in the league will also attract more supporters. If supporters increase, then the companies are also likely to be attracted.
I welcome Lesotho PostBank to local football. It is encouraging to see companies injecting such huge amounts into sports because they will surely make a difference.
Lesotho PostBank is the second bank to inject funds into the league after Nedbank Lesotho recently unveiled the annual Nedbank8 tournament. The competition is played by teams that finish in the top-four of the north and south streams.