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Lefa reassures nation over Nigeria trip


Moorosi Tsiane

The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, has urged the nation to remain calm after the organisation’s decision to risk the wrath of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) by pulling the national under-20 side out of yesterday’s match against Nigeria.

Makoanyane XI, as the team is affectionately known, were supposed to play the Flying Eagles of Nigeria in the first leg, third round tie of the 2015 African Youth Championship in Kaduna, but Lefa decided not to send the youngsters due to the Ebola virus which is ravaging West Africa.

Mohapi on Friday insisted Lefa cancelled the trip due to safety concerns, and further said he was confident Caf would not dock Lesotho points for refusing to fulfill the tie.

Mohapi further said Lefa decided to boycott the trip after learning that government had reportedly ruled that anyone travelling from Nigeria would not be allowed into Lesotho until further notice, due to the Ebola virus.

“We had raised our concerns, as Lefa, about the safety of the team in Nigeria and like we said previously, we had communicated this to Caf.

“Although Caf ruled that we should fulfill the match, after careful consideration regarding the safety of the team and again in line with government’s directive that all the borders should be closed for people travelling to and from Nigeria, among other affected West African countries, we reached the conclusion that we must cancel the trip,” Mohapi said.

Mohapi, however, urged the nation not to panic as Lesotho would not be suspended or banned from participating in international competitions due to the Nigeria tour.

“The nation must keep calm; we will not be suspended from international competitions, but it is likely that we will be fined although I cannot say again whether we will still be granted another chance to play the match.”

Mohapi further said Lefa had since written to Caf advising of the situation and again asking for the match to be rescheduled and moved to another safe country, hence his confidence that the country would not be punished for boycotting the tie.

“We sent an urgent letter to Caf, advising of the situation and requesting that the said match be postponed and rescheduled to another country on a later date so we are still awaiting a response.”

Meanwhile, Senegalese officials appointed for the game had already arrived Kaduna by Friday, in a clear indication that Caf expected the match to go ahead.


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