MASERU — A parliamentary portfolio committee says Setsoto Stadium and Bambatha Tsita Sports Arena are in a pathetic state despite the government and world football body Fifa pouring money for their renovation.
The committee which is responsible for sports inspected the two stadiums which are Lesotho’s main soccer stadia on Tuesday and they were not pleased with what they saw.
The government — through the sports ministry — had set aside M80 million to renovate phase two of the stadia.
Fifa had also donated about US$503 535 to the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) to renovate Bambatha Tsita Sports Arena.
Yet the Bambatha Tsita Sports Arena remains in a sorry state.
So too is Setsoto Stadium, Lesotho’s only stadium that has some semblance of international standards.
MP Libe Moremoholo who chairs the committee told the Sunday Express that their tour had established that the “grounds are in a very poor state”.
“The conditions in both grounds are very poor and need to be addressed urgently because these are very important issues,” Moremoholo said.
He said the committee had inspected the grounds ahead of their meeting with the Lefa bosses tomorrow.
Last week the committee announced that it would summon the management of Lefa to explain allegations of misuse of funds and its failure to register the national team for the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers.
“We wanted to investigate them as well as to confirm some allegations against Lefa so we could prepare ourselves before the meeting,” Moremoholo said.
“We wanted to establish if the money allocated for the renovation and construction of both grounds was spent accordingly.”
Moremoholo said the committee was going to release its report on the state of the two grounds soon.
He however did not mention specific dates.
He said it seemed Lefa had not been transparent in dealing with funds it received from both the government and Fifa.
He said it was worrying that Bambatha did not qualify to host international games when Fifa invested hundreds of dollars to renovate it.
“They (Lefa) explain the money was used for the developments of offices, rooms and other things but they did not manage to develop the ground.”
“But there is a serious allegation that is being made on the mismanagement of money that was supposed to be used to develop Bambatha. The ground is not good and does not meet international standards,” he said.
Last month a CAF match commissioner delayed the Under 17 game between Lesotho and Mozambique because Bambatha did not meet the standards set by Fifa.
“The problem with Setsoto Stadium is that the building (phase two) does not have the roofing and fans will not be able to watch matches when it’s raining,” Moremoholo said.
“The design of the white chairs on those sides is not good as well because they are not eye-friendly.”
Meanwhile, the committee said it will sometime this year inspect another stadium which has been built in Mohole’s Hoek.
“The other thing is that we want to confirm some allegations that the Mohole’s Hoek stadium is very poor yet there was a lot of money invested in that project,” he said.