Top Lesotho cyclists have missed out on the 2022 African Road Cycling Championships going on in Egypt this week after the country failed to raise funds necessary for the trip.
The continental showpiece began on Tuesday and is set to conclude on Sunday in the Capital of Egypt, Cairo.
Team Lesotho made up of athletes Kabelo Makatile and Teboho KhantÅ¡i, Malefane Morie as Team Manager and coach, was meant to leave last week Saturday.
â€œWe are no longer competing in the championships because we didnâ€™t get the money for the trip, which was a huge blow to us,â€ Morie said.
â€œUnfortunately we were made aware of the situation at very advanced stages of the preparations,â€ he added.
Morie said the Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation ministry had failed to assist through the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).
He said the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) who had promised to assist, later said it was facing financial challenges and had withdrawn its pledge as well.
Morie pointed out that failure to attend the contest was a disappointment since they were looking to use the event to gather points for the upcoming Commonwealth Games as well as the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
For his part, the Ministry of Sports Information Officer Maqalika Matsepe said the ministry is still not able to fund anything as they have not been afforded funds from the Ministry of Finance.
â€œIt is unfortunate that we could not assist them but the Ministry is still waiting for money from the finance ministry to be allocated to all our departments. Since last year the ministry has been without funds and we have been hoping that things would change after this yearâ€™s budget allocations,â€ Matsepe said.