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MMB sponsors Copa tournament

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — The top two players from the forthcoming Copa Coca-Cola school tournament will rub shoulders with mentors at Chelsea FC in the United Kingdom.
The tournament is set to run from Friday, August 19 to Sunday at Setsoto Stadium where 12 high schools who have qualified from district level will compete.
Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) brand marketing manager Lehlohonolo Makhoali said they had decided to give the best selected players an opportunity to “get to know their Chelsea stars better”.
“The two best players selected from this year’s tournament will get an opportunity to attend a training camp at Chelsea Football Club in England,” Makhoali said on Thursday.
The tournament is sponsored by MMB to the tune of M200 000 and is organised by the Lesotho Institute of Sports Association(Lisa).
Last year’s two best players, Sekhohola Mohai and Ranthotsi Phokoane, attended a training camp in South Africa.
Mohai was also chosen as one of the Fifa 2010 World Cup flag bearers.
Makhoali said this year’s winning team would be awarded the championship trophy, gold medals, a soccer kit and M35 000 cash that will go towards improving soccer sporting facilities at the winning school.
Lisa president Matloko Mafantiri said “it was a blessing in disguise that none of the previous winners have defended their titles”.
“None of the winners has ever defended the title and that means there are more schools benefiting from this project,” Mafantiri said.
“It also means that there are more and more upgraded football facilities being built around the country, which not only benefit the winning schools but the communities surrounding them,” he said.
“This (tournament) has brought an end to the era of playing football in the dongas where children risk being hurt.”
Speaking at the same ceremony, Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) chief executive officer Mofihli Makoele thanked MMB for helping develop football in the country.
“Running football everywhere is a huge responsibility and we always need people or companies like Copa Coca-Cola to help us develop the sport,” Makoele said.
He said this shows that Lefa is growing when one of its member associations manage to secure funding of this sort.
“Lisa is one of our members and we are always happy when they secure deals like this one because more kids will be able to play football on much better and upgraded football pitches,” he said.

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