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Cops stop LeFA indaba

spt mofokenge koloBoitumelo Koloi

MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa)’s special conference that was meant to convene in Maseru yesterday failed to take off after police stopped it.

According to the Maseru District Police Commissioner Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, the meeting was aborted because conveners had not complied with the requisite legal requirements.

“The convenors of the meeting had not, as a legal requisite, applied for permission to hold the meeting so we stopped it from going on,” Kolo said.

Police, he said, moved to stop the meeting after receiving a tip-off that the indaba would not be peaceful.

“We had also received a tip-off that the meeting was not going to be a peaceful one, so since there was no permit for its staging we could not allow it to continue”, Kolo added.

He said had there been a permit for the meeting, the meeting would still have continued “under close security inspection”.

The meeting in question was a special Lefa indaba following last month’s highly publicised presidential elective conference of the soccer governing body which was marred by controversies of alleged vote-buying by re-elected president Salemane Phafane.

About a fortnight ago Phafane and his executive committee held a press conference to defend himself against allegations that he could have paid around M17 000 to entertain a delegation of 25 representatives of the eight District Football Associations (Difa) in an attempt to coax them to vote in his favour.

At the same meeting that the association’s second vice-president Lebohang Thotanyana was accused of having leaked information that implicates Phafane in the vote-buying scam.

The failed meeting was supposed to have been a forum to decide Thotanyana’s future in the soccer governing body’s leadership.

Meanwhile Lefa’s Secretary-General Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed that the planned meeting had been stopped by the police.

“It is true that the meeting that was supposed to take place today (yesterday) has been cancelled by the police because apparently we did not apply for a permit to hold that meeting”, Mohapi told the Sunday Express last night.

However, Mohapi was quick to mention that they were surprised to be told of a permit “because never have we had to apply for a permit to hold any of our meetings”.

He said in their every other meeting they have notified the police “just out of courtesy that we would have meetings”. Mohapi said be that as it may, they would comply with set statutes and apply for a permit accordingly.

He said since the meeting was highly anticipated even by the Federation of International Football Association (Fifa) they had already notified Fifa about what had befallen them.

“We have already notified Fifa and we are waiting for them to state their position on the matter,” Mohapi said.

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