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Youth leagues want Lefa cut off

Caswell Tlali


MASERU — Opposition youth leagues are planning to lobby parliament to pressure the government to stop funding the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) for failing to register the national team for the 2012 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Sports Minister ’Mathabiso Lepono told parliament last week the government could not force Lefa to register Likuena for the biennial continental competition because it was against the international football body Fifa’s regulations for politicians to interfere with the administration of the game.

Lesotho Workers Party MP Sello Maphalla was furious with Lefa’s decision and called on the government to stop funding the association.

Opposition youth leagues have joined the chorus.

They told the Sunday Express they were worried the government continued to pour money into an association whose actions and decisions it could not control.

They said if the government could discipline Lefa then it should have the power to stop funding it.

Lefa gets M1 million a year from the government.

All Basotho Convention youth league president Libe Moremoholo said as soon as parliament reopens on April 16 he would seek to influence the social cluster to compel Lepono to summon Lefa’s executive committee to parliament to explain the debacle.

“The parliamentary social cluster must call the minister together with the Lefa executive committee to account for their acts,” Moremoholo said.

“If the government does not have a say in the administration of Lefa then no taxpayers’ money should be allocated to it.

“We have many friendly associations that do not get even a cent from the government because they do not want government interference in their administration.

“Why is Lefa treated differently?”

Moremoholo argued that Fifa should “fund Lefa as it is the one which has exclusive rights to stick its nose in its internal affairs”.

Basotho National Party youth leader Tsepo Monethi said the sports ministry should force Lefa to reverse its decision.

“We are paying for the smooth running of Lefa and the ministry should act on our behalf and ensure that Lefa’s decision is reversed,” he said.

Monethi also said Lefa did not have the mandate to leave Likuena out of the Nations Cup qualifiers.

Likuena, he said, belonged to the nation and not Lefa alone.

“Lefa is merely facilitating the smooth running of our football and is managing our national teams on our (people’s) behalf,” Monethi said.

“They did not have a mandate from us to act as they did,” he said.

“That decision is extraordinary. It is beyond the mere buying of uniforms for the team which they could do without consulting us.”

Monethi said failure by Lefa to enter the national team in international competitions left the association without a purpose to serve.

“Their mandate is to manage our national teams and enter them in international competitions,” he said.

“Failure to do this leaves them with no purpose.”

The ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) youth league, however, said they were not aware that Lefa had not entered Likuena in the international tourney.

LCD youth leader Mosala Mojakisane said he only heard the news for the first time when the Sunday Express sought his opinion.

“I am not aware of Lefa’s decision,” he said. “If that is so, I am going to find out why.”

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