MASERU — A bitter battle for the control of the Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (Laba) is now threatening to derail the selection of a boxing team for the Commonwealth Games in October.
Two factions are at the centre of the fight.
One faction is led by Fako Hakane who was elected Laba president in January while the other is led by Takatso Ramakhula who is the former president of the association.
The factions have been fighting for the past year.
The acrimony has now spilled over into the selection of the national boxing team for the Commonwealth Games in India.
The selection of the eight-man team started last week with sparring sessions in Ha-Tšosane, Maseru, where top-performing boxers were drafted into a preliminary squad.
The list which was announced on Monday meanwhile includes 2006 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Moses Kopo.
What has complicated the issue is that some of the boxers come from Ramakhula’s Best Boxers Club (BBC), a top boxing club in the country.
Yet Ramakhula says he knows nothing about the selection of his boxers because he was never consulted.
“I don’t know how (the team) has been chosen. We are still in the process of trying to contest the committee which is illegitimate,” Ramakhula said when asked about the squad on Tuesday.
“Even if there is a person from our team I don’t know how they can be representing my club when we never knew anything.”
But Hakane scoffed at any hostility towards the preliminary squad or its selection procedure saying it was fully representative.
“The team manager of every team from all districts is working with us in this process. I don’t understand who can say that (they are against the team),” Hakane said, adding that the selection process had been changed.
Boxing, one of the two disciplines Lesotho took part in at the 2008 Olympics, has traditionally been one of the country’s more successful disciplines.
At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester boxer Sephula Letuka won bronze while Kopo won silver at the 2006 event in Melbourne.
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