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Likuena to honour Sudan World Cup fixture

Mikia Kalati


MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) on Thursday announced that Likuena will honour their last World Cup qualifier away in Sudan next weekend.

This follows the team’s failure to start their preparations on Monday due to lack of funds.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Lefa secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi and public relations officer Thabo Maretlane, announced that the team will make the trip to Khartoum despite failing to start their preparation in time for the important World cup qualifier.

“It is important that the football fraternity knows that we wanted to start preparations way ahead and we have these letters as a proof that we have been communicating with the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation to try and get funds for the team so that they prepare for the Sudan match,” Mohapi said.

The association said they had considered pulling out of the qualifiers due to lack of funds, but made a U-turn on their decision because of the heavy fines and a possible three-year suspension from the football governing body, Fifa.

Mohapi said the association would be fined around M400 000 if they failed to honour the fixture.

“I can tell you that it is only on Wednesday this week that we received M321 450 from the Ministry which will cover the needs of the team ahead of the trip to Khartoum.

“At the time when the money was transferred, the team had missed up to four weeks of preparations which had been planned and communicated to the ministry,” said Mohapi.

Maretlane said despite their rocky preparations for their last World cup qualifier, he is confident that the team will go to Sudan to do the country proud.

“We were all expecting the team to continue from where they left off during the Cosafa cup in July, however because of these problems it is going to be very difficult,” Maretlane said.

“These boys have been in a similar position before and I’m sure they will fight for their country,” he said.

Likuena opened their 2014 World Cup qualifier under a dark cloud after the team arrived in Kumasi less than four hours prior to kickoff.

They lost 0-7 to Ghana.

The team was stuck at OR Tambo International Airport for days after they failed to get their visas to get to the West African country.

They are at the bottom of Group D having played a goalless draw against Sudan in the first round match.

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