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AUSC games under threat

Moorosi Tsiane

LESOTHO’S chances of hosting Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Games’ football competitions are hanging by a thread following an assessment by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

This was said by Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi in a media briefing last week.

CAF recently assessed Lesotho best stadium, Setsoto, was in no condition to host CAF games. CAF therefore, fined LeFA USD$4000 (about M57 400).

Lesotho is preparing to host the AUSC Region 5 Games in December. The under-17 boys’ football component of the games will be used to as the qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

“We received a letter from CAF informing us that after the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers in March, match officials reported back to CAF that the stadium was in a poor condition and we have been fined USD4000,” Mohapi said.

The match officials reported there were inadequate benches for officials both on the technical area and in the dressing rooms.

“Our dressing rooms are not up to the required international and modern standards. The fine is being paid by the government because it owns Setsoto Stadium.

“Lesotho is preparing for AUSC games and the state of the stadium will affect the games. If the stadium is not fixed, we won’t be able to host football matches which are also going to be used as under-17 AFCON qualifiers.”

Mohapi said they have already informed the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) to alert the Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation Ministry.

“This was just carelessness by those managing the stadium. We have on several occasions informed them about the poor standards of the ground but they paid no attention.”

LSRC acting chief executive officer Teboho Malataliana confirmed receiving LeFA’s letter. He said he has referred the matter to the Sport ministry which is yet to give them feedback.

“Of course, we have received LeFA’s letter and the invoice. We have already submitted them to the Sport ministry but we still haven’t received any feedback. We are waiting to know if the government intends to pay the fine because it owns the stadium,” Malataliana said.

He however, allayed fears that the AUSC games may be affected by the state of the stadium saying the upcoming games were “just developmental”.

“These are just development games for countries that are trying to keep good relations and I don’t think they can be cancelled just because of the state of the stadium. Also, as far as I know, the stadium’s renovations are set to start in August this year, so by the time the games begin, I think everything would have been sorted out,” Malataliana said.

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