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Heads will roll:tennis chief

Teboho Molapo


MASERU — Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LTTA) president Motlatsi Morolong has said heads will roll after the country’s dismal performance at the ITF African Junior Tennis Championship in Abuja, Nigeria, late last month.

Lesotho’s competitors crashed out in the first round.

Lesotho’s foursome — Lebelo Mosehle, Paseka Motsamai, Mpho Kotsie and Ntsoaki Mokhele — had qualified for the championships following a promising performance at the region’s qualifying tournament in January where Mosehle reached the last eight of the under-14 section.

However the team endured disastrous preparations, failing to obtain their travel visas on time, missing their original flight to Nigeria and leaving with no pocket money.

“Heads have to roll. I was very upset,” Morolong told the Sunday Express on Tuesday. These are kids of the nation and when you listen (to reports), it’s just negligence.”

In recent years Lesotho’s tennis has found itself in the doldrums because of mismanagement.

Last April the previous LLTA board was disbanded following damning findings by an independent commission. This brought about the reign of Morolong and a new executive in July.

Morolong said he was disappointed with the bungling which saw the team struggle to hold training sessions despite the ministry of sports and the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission insisting they had released funds.

Morolong said there was “general carelessness” that saw the team receive their visas a week late on March 25 and only arriving in Nigeria on March 27.

The championships started on March 29.

“The person who went there didn’t get the visas and you ask yourself if he went there for his own business,” Morolong said.

“The Nigerian embassy in Pretoria is adamant that they released the visas on time and that the person only got there on Friday at 12 (pm). So the team only got their visas the following Thursday.”

“Getting visas was a nightmare, but then when they got to the OR Tambo airport they could only watch as their plane left them. Then after a seven or eight hour flight they were expected to play,” Morolong said.

“One of the ITF assessors who were there (at the championships) said the cooperation between the players and the coach was very poor.”

Morolong however said he would wait for a full report from Moshoeshoe and the ITF before making a decision.

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