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Lefa fails to unveil new kit

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) on Friday cancelled the unveiling of a new kit for the national teams at Bambata Tsita Sports Arena in yet another sign of the confusion dogging domestic football.

Lefa chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, said they had to stop the ceremony at the eleventh hour after some members of the executive committee expressed their reservations over the manner the deal had been handled.

Last year Lefa signed a five-year sponsorship deal with a local company, Basutoland Ink, that will see the clothing company supplying new kits to all national teams.

But in a sign of the power struggles at the association some members of the Lefa executive appear not too keen to take the sponsor on board.

“It is my mistake that the launch failed to take place because some of my bosses are not happy with the way I implemented it (sponsorship deal),” Makoele told a press conference.

He said Lefa president, Salemane Phafane, had instructed him to abandon the launch because some committee members were not happy with the deal.

“There are some of my employers who are not satisfied with the whole launch and my implementation plan,” Makoele said.

This is not the first time that the sponsorship had run into problems.

In November last year, a ceremony to hand over the kit ran into similar problems and had to be shelved after the sponsor “experienced some technical problems”.

Fans this time said they were expecting the national football team to don the new kit when they take Sao Tomé next Sunday.

Likuena take on Sao Tomé in an African Nations Cup preliminary round tie away in Sao Tome.

Sources said there could be more to the cancellation of the sponsorship with suggestions the executive committee is split with some favouring a rival company to kit the national teams.

A rival faction is backing Basutoland Ink, the sources said.

But Makoele dismissed the speculation as unfounded.

“It is not true that the launch failed to take place as planned because of a clash of interest among the committee members,” Makaole said.

“I am not aware of any clash of interest over the new sponsorship deal among my employers.”

Basutoland Ink marketing manager, Karabo Maitin, said both parties needed to accommodate each other to solve the problem.

“We are only trying to accommodate each other in this situation. They (Lefa) accommodated us when we had technical problems and now it’s our turn to be patient and allow them to reorganise themselves,” Maitin said.

He said they were not bitter that Lefa had cancelled the launch at the eleventh hour.

“We have no hard feelings despite the fact that we had already spent M4 000 on snacks for the occasion,” he said.

Basutoland Ink and Lefa last year signed a five-year sponsorship deal that is worth between M300 000 and M400 000 a year.

The company will provide kits to all national football teams as well as the national women’s football squad.

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