A fortnight after announcing that they will be withdrawing their senior menâ€™s soccer team from participation in the premier league, Kick4Life has announced that the teamâ€™s premiership status is up for sale.
In a media briefing held at the team headquarters in Maseru this week, Kick4Life Member of the Executive Makoanyane Letsie announced that the management has decided to sell the status of the team, adding that negotiations are at an advanced stage with a potential buyer for the premier league status which has been occupied by the Old Europa based side.
â€œWe felt it was necessary to wait for the season to end so that we could properly explain everything that has to do with the statement we released earlier,â€ Letsie said.
He stated that the flagship team that has been bearing the Kick4Life Football Club brand which is the senior menâ€™s team status is the one which is being sold.
â€œLet me clarify that a decision has been made that the status of the menâ€™s senior team FC Kick4life which was playing in the premier league will be sold.
â€œAs things stand, we are already in discussions with potential buyers. We are not selling the name â€˜Kick4lifeâ€™ but we are selling the premier league status, however, we will also not be buying a lower level status because we already have a team playing in the B-division,â€ Letsie said.
According to Letsie they will shift their focus to the B-Division team â€“ Kick4Life Development along with other development teams as well as the senior womenâ€™s team which will now be the flagship team for the brand.
The senior menâ€™s team was founded in 2008 followed closely by formation of the womenâ€™s team which came a year later. The menâ€™s team became champions of the Northern Stream A-Division League in 2013/14 and was promoted to the premier league since, maintaining its top flight status.
In June 2020 Kick4Life became the first top flight football club in the world to commit equal budgets across the genders.
It holds the status of the worldâ€™s first football club exclusively dedicated to social change. It has registered charities in the United Kingdom and the United States of America with the aim to utilize the power of football to change the lives and long-term prospects of young people in Lesotho.
For his part, Kick4Life Country Director, Motlatsi Nkhahle said the decision was arrived at a few months ago following the decision by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to deem any player ineligible for college sports participation if they are already in a menâ€™s premier league team.
The NCAA is a partner of Kick4Life which is the governing body of college sports in the USA through which Kick4Life has been sending youths on scholarship for football development tagged with education in some of the finest American universities.
â€œThe decision we have just announced is not one we reached recently but it has been incoming since about a few years back, this was after we had met with a challenge where some of our senior team players were no longer eligible for scholarships in the USA because they are deemed to no longer be amateurs.
â€œSo because we realized that when a person plays in the premier league he reduces his scholarship chances, we then have to do everything in our power to not have them play in the premier league,â€ said Nkhahle.
He further revealed that trying to have the senior menâ€™s team co-exist with their main programs as an establishment chiefly focused on improving young lives academically was very costly. Over the years, Kick4Life has supported several young players to obtain life changing student-athlete scholarships in the USA and Canada, such as Lesia Thetsane, â€˜Mako Makoanyane, Senate Letsie and Boitumelo Rabale.