THE Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) has been slapped with a M150 000 fine for the late registration for the biennial African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Games which are to be scheduled for Botswana from 7 to 16 December 2018.
According to team Lesotho’s chef de mission Molupe Mothepu, the delay was caused by the late release of funds by the government despite the budget being released last year. The team eventually missed the deadline for the payments which was set for May this year.
“We submitted our budget last year for this year games and we have been trying to push the government for funding but they delayed until we missed the deadline and were eventually slapped with a US$10 000 (about M150 000) fine,” Mothepu said.
“The government is aware of these games because they signed a memorandum of understanding which entails that local teams will participate in the games once every two years.”
Mothepu said the team is yet to commence its preparations as the government is yet to release the funds.
“We normally take the commissions’ money and use it to help the teams prepare while still waiting for the government to release our allocation. Upon the release of our allocation we then replace the commissions’ funds. However, this affects all the associations as they will have to stop all their processes until we have replaced the money.
“We have not started our preparations yet we had hoped to use the winter holidays camp when schools were closed but that failed to work out. Our last hope is the Independence holidays that is if we will have received the money by then.
“Losing that M150 000 was a set back because instead of paying a fine, we could have just used it to prepare the teams.”
Mothepu said the delay in the release of funds was counterproductive as they have to endure the same setbacks every year and said it was likely to hamper the country’s preparations to host the next edition of the games in 2020.
“We endure the same delays every year and this looks bad nothing is improving. We are the next hosts and I am also wondering how we are going to work around it if we still face the same challenges we have been facing for over four years. The government always promises but fails to deliver hence we end up being fined,” said Mothepu.
Mothepu also confirmed that netball team which was scheduled to travel to Botswana has now been ruled after missing the deadline for the submission of its line-up.
“The deadline to submit names was the 1st of August this year and the Netball Association failed to give us the names as they had unresolved issues between their coach and the team manager. It was however decided that they are given an extension which was until the last day of August.
“We tried to speed up the processes but unfortunately up to last Friday (31st August) there was still no list and now the deadline has been closed,” Mothepu said.
Lesotho will be competing in athletics, boxing, football females, volleyball males, tennis and elite athletes with a disability (EAD).