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Rivalry, hatred: where do we draw the line?

Moorosi Tsiane

FOR a long time, different stakeholders in sports have called on the cooperate world to invest in sports to stimulate development and growth of our sporting sector.

It is known to everyone that companies have been hesitant about investing in local sports mainly because of administrators’ penchant for abuse of resources.

However, there are some companies who despite all the ills, have shown interest, support and loyalty and Metropolitan Lesotho is one of them.

The Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) announced this week that they have sourced sponsorship for nine Premier League teams from the insurance giants.

The sponsorship will see Metropolitan forking out M60 000 for teams which have run without sponsorship last season.

According to the outgoing PLMC chairman John Leuta the sponsorship is intended to help the teams with equipment such as balls and soccer kits.

Without doubt this is a good initiative from the PLMC and the sponsorship will come in handy for many teams which have been struggling in league.

However, I was baffled to learn that some sections of the footballing fraternity have politicised the whole deal. The said sections suggest that the deal is a way of influencing the forthcoming PLMC executive committee elections which are scheduled for this Friday.

Leuta has already indicated that he would not stand for re-election and you wonder what form of influence he would achieve through securing sponsorship for several premiership sides. Even if he were to achieve this influence, to what end would it be?

It boggles the mind that some even suggest in the first instance. What for the corporate Metropolitan Lesotho whose name risks being tarnished?

It seems there will never be a time when one will do good and be appreciated for it without some twisting the gestures to fit their own malicious schemes.

There has always been and there will always be rivalry in football and that is one of the traits that make it interesting. However, there seems to be a very thin line between rivalry and hatred.

Where do we draw the line?

Local teams have a role to ensure that they stop this kind of behaviour among the fans through careless thought lines as this. The way this is going looks like it has the potential to end up being all personal.

It is unfortunate that some of our league teams’ administrators seems to be taking the front row seat to instigate this hatred between the supporters.

The animosity that is brewing in our football circles has the potential to reverse the gains that we have amassed in the past five years where we have seen the support base surging.

Administrators of our teams needs serious introspection and desist from spreading malicious which put the beautiful game of soccer into unnecessary problems.

I cannot even gather enough energy to think how the Metropolitan Lesotho management will think about the unfortunate claims and it is my prayer that they do not end up withdrawing their sponsorship.

This country has experienced serious political stability in the past few years and one would have thought that sport will at least re-unite the nation. However, for now it looks like football has done the opposite.

Soccer rivalry does not always mean we have to hate each other and apart from our different persuasions, we all remain Basotho.

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