MASERU — Vodacom Lesotho is not happy with the current infighting within the football fraternity.
Speaking at a function to hand over jerseys to the eight teams that have qualified for the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular tournament on Friday, Tšabiso Letsoela, Vodacom Lesotho managing executive commercial said it was embarrassing to see sponsors’ names being dragged through the mud.
“Vodacom has for the four years spent about M9 million in the running of football and the only thing we are getting through football is bad and embarrassing things being said about sponsors,” Letsoela said.
He did not specify the negative things that are being said about the company.
“The things that are said about Vodacom are really bad and we are not happy at all,” he added.
“In this country when people are doing good things they are dragged in the mud but we can’t allow that to happen as Vodacom.”
Letsoela said it should be worrying to the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) that sponsors are coming and going “as if nothing has happened”.
Letsoela told the Sunday Express that the football fraternity must start learning how to manage their politics and stop embarrassing sponsors.
“The main problem here is to see sponsors withdrawing from football and our appeal is that the football fraternity must start learning how to manage their politics,” Letsoela said.
He said he was sure that there were several other companies that would want to sponsor football were it not for the constant negative publicity they would get from associating with local football.
“If they start learning how to manage their football internal politics well and encourage sponsors to chip in, then all will be well.”
“We did not come here to run football because we know nothing about football but came here to help in developing the sport,” he said.
Vodacom Lesotho has been pumping M1 million every year to sponsor the Vodacom Soccer Spectacular,
the biggest knockout competition in Lesotho.
The contract ends this year.
The eight teams that have qualified for this year’s tournament are Lioli, Matlama, Lesotho Correctional Service, Lesotho Defense Force, Maduma, Linare, Bantu and Majantja.
In a separate interview, Lefa chief executive officer, Mofihli Makoele, told this paper it was sad that the association was only beginning to address Vodacom’s concerns now.
“This is not the first time he (Letsoela) has said this and it is sad that we are only addressing these issues at the end of the Spectacular contract,” Makoele said.
He said the association has formed a special committee to run the tournament so as to address the sponsors’ concerns.