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Rugby fallout unfortunate


Moorosi Tsiane

Local rugby suffered a body blow last week, when the country’s top club, Giants, pulled out of the Federation of Lesotho Rugby (FLR).

Club officials cited maladministration for abandoning the federation they had been part of since its launch amid such pomp and fanfare four years ago.

But what is more worrying is Giants were the third club to leave FLR in as many weeks, after Wolves and Black also quit but for completely different reasons.

Wolves failed to register for the first round of the 2016 season because they could not find a coach, while Cobras had to withdraw from the federation due to work commitments as the players are mainly members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service.

Such developments are not good for a sport that had shown so much promise and steady progress over the years. In addition to having a national senior league, the federation has been running a very inspiring schools rugby programme involving 60 primary and 40 high schools from across the country.

Yet administration at whatever level has never been easy, and there will always be disagreements amid strong indications of personal interests rather than sporting considerations for the squabbling.

I personally think our rugby has been making steady progress and the fact that we were now playing internationally showed the sport was going in the right direction, hence my disappointment at these developments.

To confirm the progress I am talking about, Giants and Maseru Select are playing in one of the amateur leagues in South Africa’s Eastern Free State province.

However, I could see this fallout coming after some Giants members, most of whom are in the FLR executive, left the club and formed Maseru Warriors.

It was clear from this move that there were divisions in that team, but it is unfortunate that the feuding gentlemen decided to take their differences to national level as Giants’ decision to leave the federation means their players cannot represent their country since the FLR has responded by suspending the team for two years.

Giants accused the FLR executive of many wrongs, among them that they have not held an annual general meeting where members would air their grievances or give their input into improving the sport.

This is a serious transgression as only through such platforms can there be transparency in any organization.

At least, the federation says it would be hold the AGM next month, and hopefully, this is the beginning of a return to normality.

There is nothing that can be gained through fighting, but Giants’ decision to speak out is good for rugby as it helps keep the administrators on the straight and narrow.

Like I said, rugby was showing immense potential to become a major sport in Lesotho, and I hope the various parties in this infighting can find each other again and work with the same singleness of purpose that saw them forming the FLR four years ago.

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