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Roof of Africa moved back to December

Leemisa Thuseho

THE Lesotho Off Road Association (LORA) has reversed its decision to cancel the 2020 Roof of Africa ‘The Mother of Hard Enduro’ due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Last month, the association announced that this year’s event will be moved to February next year.

However, the decision has now been reviewed after South Africa announced the opening of borders staring on 1 October 2020. The opening of borders will now enable regional travel, which had been banned since March this year when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

Although most sports remain banned in Lesotho, some low risk sports are allowed and among them is off-road motorsports.

The event was initially scheduled for 18 to 21 November 2020 before it was deferred to next year. But the association has now resolved to hold the event from 9 to 19 December 2020.

“Following extensive discussions, we’re glad to announce that the executive committee has granted permission to open entries for LORA 2020 intended for 9 to 12 December,” a statement from LORA reads.

“However, all the above is subject to the eminent Covid-19 regulations. We will also agree that we’re all anticipating a positive statement from the Prime Minister (Moeketsi Majoro) any time this or next week.

“If things turn out negative, we will defer the event to February 2021.”

LORA secretary general Koo Lemeke said even though they have already opened for registrations, they will not hesitate to move the event to next year if circumstances deter its hosting.

“Although we have decided to continue with the event, it must be clear that there is still room to move it to next year in the event that sporting events are banned again and movement restrictions between countries are re-imposed,” Lemeke said.

He said they are ready to work under the Covid-19 regulations and there are possibilities that this year’s event will be without spectators. They may also be forced to cancel other events like Round the houses.

The other change for this year’s edition is that there will be no qualifying events as the association resolved to work with clubs and their respective mother bodies to get riders’ information for them to be registered for different categories.

Lesotho has been hosting the Roof of Africa event annually since 1967. The only year that saw the event being cancelled was in 1998 due to political unrest in Lesotho. Therefore, if the event fails this year, it will be the second time Lesotho misses the opportunity to stage it.

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