It was all glitz and glamour at the AVIS Lesotho premises last Tuesday, when the vehicle-hire firm was handing over a Quantum minibus worth M350 000 to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA).
In his keynote address, AVIS general manager, Keith Dell said the donation was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility and way of saying “thank you” to Basotho for their continued support of their business.
This was the second Quantum AVIS has given to Lefa, with the first one coming in 2010.
I applaud AVIS’ gesture and as a proud citizen of this country and die-hard sports fan, I was very impressed to see yet another local company giving back to the nation through sports sponsorship.
I have also since learnt that AVIS has been providing Lefa with a vehicle each time the association requested such assistance, and this all signals good relations between the two organisations.
It is therefore, important that Lefa continues to act responsibly because based on Dell’s speech at the handover ceremony, this is a good relationship which is bound to continue for a very long time to come.
The AVIS supremo also had praise for the national football teams, especially the seniors, Likuena, who are currently taking part in the group stage qualifiers of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.
I believe the AVIS donation can only help Lefa run our football better, and enhance the association’s administrative capabilities, which appear to be found wanting, particularly when it comes to sourcing sponsorship for Likuena.
I would also like to commend the national team and the technical staff for the commitment they have shown since the beginning of these continental qualifiers. As we all know, Likuena beat Liberia and Kenya in the knockout phase of the competition, and are now fighting Gabon, Burkina Faso and Angola for a berth at the Afcon finals to be held in Morocco early next year.
I believe the good word that AVIS has put in about Lefa would encourage other companies to sponsor the association, thereby helping in the overall development of the beautiful game in our country.
I know finding sponsorship is not easy for Lefa, particularly in the wake of so many reports that the money is somehow misused, although these ‘rumours’ have never been substantiated.
On a sad note, I have realised that Lesotho has dropped from 105 to 115 on the latest Fifa rankings, and 29 to 34 in Africa.
This is disappointing because if Likuena had been afforded enough time to prepare for the recent Afcon matches against Burkina Faso and Gabon, maybe we could be saying something completely different.
Likuena lost 2-0 against Burkina Faso and drew 1-1 versus Gabon, and these matches came when the team had not been training due to Lefa’s bankruptcy.
But I believe AVIS has set the right tone for other companies to also support Lefa because the association is the custodian of our football and needs all the support it can get, if we are to conquer the continent on the pitch, that is.