The Minister of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation, Likeleli Tampane furnished the Parliament with flabby information yesterday during her address to the National Assembly in regard to the senior national menâ€™s soccer team Likuenaâ€™s preparations for African Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON) Qualifier games.
Tampane said this while requested to shed light to the house regarding Likuena matches in the Republic of South Africa by the Member of Parliament for Mabote constituency, Moshoeshoe Fako.
Tampane told the house that the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) requested money amounting to M1.2million for the teamâ€™s flight and accommodation to Comoros where the two nations will be locking horns today.
The claims were refuted by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA)â€™s Secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi who indicated that they had in fact, requested M2.5million for the trip and to hosting Ivory Coast in the same contest next week on 9 June, 2022 in Dobsonville, Soweto in South Africa.
Mohapi says there is no way they could have asked that much knowing fully well the price of participating in games of that magnitude.
In the recent Preliminary stages encounter played against Seychelles, LeFA said it had spent over M 2 million in the two-legged clash.
Addressing fellow Members of Parliament (MPs), Tampane said the national team is hosting its international games on foreign soil due to a ban meted against Setsoto Stadium by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last year due to the stadiumâ€™s poor condition.
â€œThe artificial turf at the Setsoto Stadium has not been fixed, and LeFA on behalf of Likuena asked for M1.2million for the two-legged game between Lesotho and Comoros for flight and accommodation and Lesotho against Ivory Coast in Dobsonville Durban where we are currently playing our games for our home games on 9 June, 2022.
â€œWe did budget for the sports but unfortunately we have a ceiling which limited us from drawing enough budget for Likuena, therefore we are now in negotiations with the Ministry of Finance and we believe that Likuena will have enough money to use for their game this week,â€ she said.
She said LeFA had recommended to the Ministry to consider certain company, to repair the turf which would cost up to M8million to repair.
â€œUnfortunately according to that companyâ€™s plan, the job was to be executed in February 2022, but it was during the time we were preparing for the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) region 5, meaning the artificial turf was to be fixed after the games have been completed,â€ she said.
Contrarily, the AUSC Region 5 games were held last year November to December.
Asked how the company won the tender fairly or if it was headhunted she indicated that said â€œâ€¦we have only one company worldwide which does this kind of a job, we were directed to by LeFA to select the perfect company to install artificial which will last for a long time. Meaning we had no option, we were only allowed to do selective tendering thatâ€™s why we chose itâ€, which was strongly refuted by Mohapi.
He said LeFA has never engaged in any discussions with any company in connection with Setsoto stadium artificial turf.
â€œLeFA never got into discussion with any company pertaining to the Setsoto stadium artificial turf, not at all.
â€œWe didnâ€™t ask for M1.2million for the two games; Comoros and Ivory Coast. I doubt the Ministry will even get the money we asked for. The process takes too long,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, contacted for an update last night, Tampane said her ministry had a very productive meeting with the Ministry of Finance who have agreed to avail some money for the Likuena games although it may not be the M1.2 million that she said had been requested.
â€œWe had a very productive meeting with the Finance ministry today about the money requested, and although they are yet to give us a reply, it is looking very positive, and although the team has already gone, we believe when it does eventually arrive it will be helpful,â€ she said.
Meanwhile Mohapi indicated that as LeFA they have had to foot the bill seeing as failure to do that might have caused the team not to participate in the important competition, adding that LeFA set aside over M2 million for the two games.