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Team Lesotho to miss Netball World Cup qualifiers


Chris Theko

Netball team Lesotho might miss the 2022 African Netball World Cup qualifiers scheduled for August 21-27 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Netball World Cup will be held from 28 July to 26 August 2023 at the International Convention Center in Cape Town.

The Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) delayed paying the 2022 World Netball subscription worth (£650) M13 082.

Faced with leadership squabbles, the association was barred from participating in all international netball activities until they had paid the annual subscription.

Competing countries will include the hosts South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, eSwatini, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia. 

The Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) Secretary General, Lineo Palime, confirmed that the country did not register for the qualifiers because it had been suspended from World Netball after failing to pay the subscription.

“The reason we are not taking part in the qualifiers this year is that we owe subscription and because we didn’t register to participate for the qualifiers,” Palime said earlier this week.

She explained that the World Netball subscription was supposed to be paid in January but the country failed to pay.

“The deadline for payment was later extended to March but we still failed to pay,” she said indicating that the responsibility to pay subscription lies with the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).

“LSRC is mandated to help local federations pay for compliance fees locally, regionally and internationally. When we send our requisition, they (LSRC) didn’t help us.

“The requisition was submitted to the LSRC but we were told that the World Cup qualifiers participation would not be paid as well as the World netball subscription. They told us there is no money and that we submitted our requisition late,” she said.

When contacted again yesterday Palime said the subscription was paid this week but said the participation fee of about M17,000 was yet to be paid.

The LSRC for its part indicated that it could not assist the LNA because it submitted its requisition in July.

“Unfortunately the requisition to assist the LNA was only submitted very late for them to get registered for the games,” the outgoing LSRC Chief Executive Officer, Teboho Malataliana said.

The LNA has seen bitter infighting in the past months including the intentional oust of the current president Mamotšabi Lekhabunyane by a majority of the executive committee.

In June this year, the LNA Special General Meeting (SGM) to instigate Lekhabunyane’s removal was postponed by the intervention of two sports mother bodies, LSRC and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC).

The EXCO members who wanted Lekhabunyane out accused her of incompetence, abuse of power and embezzlement of the association’s funds.

Lekhabunyane was elected in April 2021 and her committee’s term is expected to run until 2024, but members of the executive committee called the SGM where she was to be officially removed from office.

However, the decision was nipped in the bud by the LSRC and the LNOC as they pursued a mutual intervention.

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