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M7million for LeFA in Covid-19 fight

Business

Chris Theko

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has received $500 000 (M7million) from the global football governing body the International Football Federation(FIFA). 

The money which is expected to sustain the national football-related activities is a second batch of the Covid-19 relief funds from FIFA. 

LeFA Information Officer Mikia Kalati, confirmed the news on Friday saying that the association had received the initial batch of the funds last August to the tune of about M8,6 million.

14 premier league teams which were competing in the 2019/20 season shared M1,120 million with each club getting M80 000 while the 20 A-Division clubs shared M800 000 each side getting M40 000. 

The 458 B Division teams each pocketed 10 000 from the M4 580 000 while the 181 clubs from the C-Division teams shared M1, 086 million each getting M6000. 

LeFA structures such as the referees’ department, Lesotho Primary Schools Sports Association (LEPSSA), Lesotho Institutes Sports Association (LISA), the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) and the A-Division Management Committee(ADMACO) all shared M395 000. 

An amount of M679 000 was set aside for purchasing medical equipment ahead of the return of football for the 2020/21 season. 

“LeFA would like to inform the football fraternity that it has received the second batch of the FIFA Covid relief fund,” a statement from the LeFA Media Office said. 

“The LeFA NEC is deliberating as to how the money would be allocated and distributed among its structures and the football fraternity will be kept abreast of the developments,” it said. 

The Kalati pointed out that for any team to qualify for the second disbursement of the of funds, it must account for the first payment received last year.  

“Clubs and structures that have not accounted for the first batch will have their allocation withheld until they have accounted for all the money.

“All clubs and structures were warned in good time that they would have to account for them to be eligible for the second tranche of the FIFA relief fund,” said Kalati.  

Most of the clubs from the A Division and the Premier League have said the share that they were awarded from the first batch of the funds helped them a lot in their operations. 

Ntšekhe Ntšekhe Public Relations Officer of Litšilo FC, aa A-Division side, said the money came in very handy to them especially during the pandemic

“The money was very helpful as we are a club that can do with all the financial assistance due to not having sponsors,” Ntšekhe said.

Media officer of Kick4Life Reitumetse Tlopo said the funds came in handy for their club especially since there are no more gate-takings. 

“Because of Covid-19 and the regulations that forced teams to play without fans, we were unable to collect gate-takings which is the money that we normally use for operational expenses, the money helped a lot and also for paying players’ salaries,” Tlopo said.                    

Sporting activity remains halted during the covid-19 induced Alert-level Orange National Lockdown declared by the Prime Minister as part of mitigation initiatives to curb the pandemic. Lesotho recorded its first positive case of covid-19 in May last year and has to date registered 10 375 positive cases, 3 198 recoveries and 279 deaths.

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