â€¦as Phafane eyes more football infrastructure countrywideÂ
In an exhilarating stride towards enhancing the countryâ€™s football infrastructure, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has recently inaugurated a cutting-edge gymnasium.
Nestled within the technical centre at the Bambatha TÅ¡ita Sports Arena in Maseru, this facility is tailored for the training of national teams and LeFA personnel.
This groundbreaking development signifies a game-changer for the national teams, who can now bid adieu to costly trips to South Africa for access to physical training facilities.
LeFA President, advocate Salemane Phafane (KC), revealed that five parcels of land have also been secured for further football infrastructure in the Thaba-Tseka, Berea, Qachaâ€™s Nek, Quthing, and Berea districts.
The gymnasium is the culmination of a three-year project, which saw the construction of the technical centre building and state-of-the-art player change rooms.
At an investment of over M1 million for gym equipment alone, LeFAâ€™s commitment to elevating the game is undeniable.
â€œWe made a promise that we are going to build and complete these two buildings, so today we are very proud to announce that the two buildings are now complete,â€ Phafane said on Tuesday.
â€œThe change rooms started working last year while the gymnasium and the technical center will start operating from today.â€
He said the gym came to be upon their realisation that LeFA spends a lot of money out-sourcing training facilities either in the country, Free State, or Gauteng Provinces in South Africa.
â€œIn those trips, LeFA spent money on transport, food, accommodation and sometimes used to pay around M400,000 for the gymnasium in Pretoria including loss of time spent on travelling.
â€œWe used to take our teams outside of the country for a week in order for them to have the fitness they need in their preparations for their matches,â€ Phafane explained.
The projects are funded by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) president, Gianni Infantino.
â€œThe gymnasium is going to be open only to our national teams and LeFA staff while we as the committee will decide on how it will be managed,â€ Phafane mentioned.
Other recent LeFA projects include the revamping of Bambatha TÅ¡ita with the installation of artificial turf and the building of the spectator sitting area.
â€œWe have good relations with the English Football Association (EFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), which are the ones helping us with securing the land suitable for sports centers, fencing and all the necessary expenses needed for those places. We have already ordered and paid for all the material needed for fencing of these places,â€ Phafane stated.
He noted that the gym project commenced around the same time as the Ministry of Sports led a sod-turning for the revamping of the abandoned Lepereng Sports Center and the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Sports Grounds.