Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) advisor, Lubomir Kotleba, has warned the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) that sponsors need to be respected to continue bankrolling the game.
Kotleba arrived in Maseru last Sunday and left three days later after meeting various stakeholders and watching some LBA matches. He was also taken to districts such as Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Berea, Leribe and Butha-Buthe to meet with the game’s role-players.
Just before leaving the country on Wednesday, the Slovak—a former national team player and referee—told an open discussion attended by the media and business at the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission offices there was no way sport could grow without the corporate sector.
“Government support for the growth of sport is not enough so it is important that you go out there and source sponsorship. That is what FIBA is trying to encourage all national federations—that they need to work with the corporate sector for additional income.
“Sponsors will not give you their money if they believe it is going to be misused so it is important that you account and are transparent when it comes to money and show some respect to your sponsors.”
He said FIBA does not give associations money but only help with material support, such as coaching and refereeing clinics.
Koleba revealed he had already arranged a five-day refereeing clinic to be held in Maseru and conducted by an instructor from Mozambique.
“I was able to watch some local league matches and I must say things are looking promising. but the standard of refereeing and coaching must improve; I was not impressed at all and fortunately, I have managed to arrange a five-day refereeing clinic to be conducted by one of the best instructors from Mozambique. The clinic should happen before winter,” said Kotleba.
In his vote-of-thanks, LBA secretary general, Palo Mohlotsane, said Kotlebe’s visit was humbling and thanked him for his “constructive” criticism.
“As Lesotho Basketball Association, we know it is not possible that everything we plan goes according to that vision. But on behalf of the association, I would like to thank our visitor here from FIBA; we are honored to have him in the country. I think the constructive criticism that he gave is something that will help us become stronger,” Mohlotsane said.
“We took him to most of our courts as we wanted him to feel and see how and where we play, and of-course, for transparency reasons. We would also like to thank our sponsors who have been with us and are helping the sport to grow.”
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