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Sponsors must be wary of having their images tarnished

Moorosi Tsiane

THE corporate community is responsible for bankrolling several sporting activities the world over mainly because most developing countries’ governments cannot afford the required interventions.

It is always refreshing when companies inject resources into sports especially in a country like ours and we appreciate the immense work various companies have done for local sports.

However, at the same time companies should be careful lest their images are tarnished and also ensure they are clear or their goals. This is especially considering the fact that locally, most companies end up being donors who just show goodwill instead of sponsors who get mileage from associating with sports.

In our context, I feel it is better to even call these same companies donors instead of sponsors because they hardly get any returns.

A fortnight ago, the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) held its annual Independence Top4 tournament bankrolled by Standard Lesotho Bank and Metropolitan Lesotho.

It was so frustrating to realise how bad people were treated in this year’s Independence Cup finals in the name of VIPs.

It was so embarrassing to see people like the former Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) National Executive Committee member, Thabo Pule, being told to move from where he was seated just because the seat was reserved for “important people”.

The Bantu coach, James Madidilane, was also a victim when a security guard who obviously got the instructions from somewhere dragged him off his seat. The coach had found himself a comfortable seat to watch the semifinal between Matlama and Lioli as his team was scheduled to play the winners of that match. He was however, dragged off his chosen seat and dumped to sit with the supporters.


As if that was not enough, the Lesotho Institutions Sports Association (LISA) president, who is also Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) vice president, Caswell Moru, was also told off his seat.

What shocked me the most was the fact that the person behind all these embarrassing actions is the PLMC office administrator, ‘M’e Mabonolo Senekal

The level of arrogance and disrespect she showed left me wondering where she is indeed the right person for the PLMC administrator job.

How does one get involved in football and fail to honour or at least recognise big names of our football? I will leave out the ordeal of sports journalists each time there is an important match because ill-treatment has become routine.

My simple advice Ms Senekal is that she needs to get off her high horse and get down to people who she works with in running of football on day to day basis.

Of course, people who are investing in sports are important and deserve to be respected but that should not be done at the expense of other important stakeholders.

Events like the Independence Cup come once a year but the people I have mentioned are in football all year round.

I am even battling to picture how Ms Senekal will work with the same people whom she has embarrassed like that.

Yes, this is just her second season in the office but I think that is one of the reasons for which she must should be humble.

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