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No budgetary assistance for Rugby

Moorosi Tsiane

FEDERATION of Lesotho Rugby (FLR) secretary general Litšitso Motšeremeli says they will not be getting any funds from the World Rugby to relieve them from the financial challenges emanating from the Coronavirus epidemic.

Although World Rugby chairperson Bill Beaumont announced on Thursday that they would give out US$100million to assist rugby unions in need of immediate emergency funding, Lesotho does not qualify.

“Global sport is facing a crisis never seen before and at this most challenging time we are taking unprecedented action as a sport united to support global rugby, its unions, competitions and players through the enormous challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Beaumont said in a press release.

“The measures announced today will provide support and short-term relief in the form of a US$100 million relief fund, while we are making excellent progress towards calendar options that reflect and address a dynamic, complex and uncertain environment.

“I have chaired many productive meetings in recent weeks with my union, region, competition and player colleagues and we are moving rapidly towards a viable calendar solution and, while compromises are being made, the outcome will be in the best interests of the whole game.

“This is a process with solidarity, unity and leadership at heart. One that sets a potential blueprint for successful collaboration in the future and I would like to thank everyone for their openness, cooperation and global view,” he said.

However, Motšeremeli said Lesotho doesn’t qualify for the funds since it is not yet a member of World Rugby but rather a member of Rugby Africa.

“We are aware of the funds but unfortunately, we do not qualify as we are not yet World Rugby members,” Motšeremeli said.

Lesotho failed to qualify into the World Rugby family after going for two years without any action in 15-aside in the last two years. Instead, the country has only participated in Rugby Sevens.

“For the past two years, we haven’t been active in the 15-aside category… in the last two years, the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation didn’t have money to fund our participation in the test competitions and we missed the 2018 Rwanda competition and the last one which was in Uganda,” Motšeremeli said.

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