Youth games team grounded in Maseru

MASERU — Lesotho’s team for the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa Zone VI Games in Swaziland was by yesterday still stranded in the country because the government had not yet released money for the trip.

The regional Under-20 youth games start tomorrow and end on December 20.

Lesotho had planned to leave for Swaziland by road on Tuesday.

Yet the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) was yesterday not sure if the local athletes would make it to Swaziland at all because they had no money.

Sports Minister ‘Mathabiso Lepono last week pressed the LSRC not to pull out of the games saying the government would cough out the M2 million budgeted for the event by last Friday.

But up to yesterday afternoon no cent had been put into the commission’s bank account.

LSRC public relations officer Jobo Raswoko told the Lesotho Times the team could only leave if the money was deposited.

“We will not leave until we receive the money,” he said.

“We are still waiting for the money to reach our offices and very unfortunately there are no new updates regarding this matter.”

Lesotho will be represented in lawn tennis, football, athletics and boxing.

Raswoko said even if the money came late they had an obligation to participate at the meet.

 “When it comes, we will fulfil our obligation as per the instruction by the minister of sports when we last met her,” he said.

“Even if it means arriving late at the games, we will still go but we can only leave this country after the money reaches our offices.”

“We can never leave this country without money because we will have no money to attend to all the logistics concerning the games.”

The LSRC had a fortnight ago threatened to pull Lesotho out of the games after failing to receive money from the government.

The commission said it was pointless to go to Swaziland without any preparations having been made.

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