M8.6 million football relief fund disbursed to clubs

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By Retselisitsoe khabo

Lesotho Football Association (LEFA), yesterday disbursed a whooping M8, 660, 000.00 million relief funds to all football clubs.

Speaking at a press conference held at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena, LEFA’s Secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi said they made a request to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and Conferderation of African Football (CAF) for COVID-19 relief fund.

Mohapi said around June 2020 FlFA announced that each and every member that has affiliated with it will be given 1 000 000 US Dollar relief fund for football to ease the burden on football imposed by COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Mohapi said FIFA said it is going to disperse the COVID-19 relief fund in two batches, 500 000 USD in August and another 500 000 USD at around January 2021.

Mohapi said LEFA received the M8 660 000 (500 000 USD) from FIFA last week. He added FIFA had set rules and regulations guiding the use of COVID-19 relief funds.

In addition, Mohapi also outlined FIFA advised LEFA to set rules and regulations of how their money is supposed to be used after it has been dispersed to the third party.

Mohapi said the clubs were told to use three banks; Standard Lesotho bank, Nedbank Lesotho and Lesotho Post Bank.

He further pointe they gave the teams forms that has to be filled in order to keep each and every record of the relief money.

“The funds should be used for football related matters only, paying debts, paying players as well as coaches,” he said.

Mohapi said they have formulated regulation that guides proper usages of this relief funds.

He also said he said there will be a severe punishment to teams that will not use the relief fund in a football related activities.

Mohapi continued that the team that fails to abide by the rules and regulations that LEFA has set to guide the proper usage of this relief fund will affect all other teams as they may end up not qualifying for the second batch disbursement set to be received in January 2021.

Premier league consisting of 14 clubs will take M1, 120, 000 of the funds and each team will pocket M80 000.

A division clubs that is made up of 20 clubs is given M800, 000 whereby each team is going to pocket M40 000.

B division with its 458 clubs is awarded M4, 580, 000 and each team is going to take home M10 000. In C division, made up of 181 clubs gets M1, 086, 000 and each team is going to pocket M6 000. Districts football associations will receive M395 000 and M679 000 will be used in preparations for the return of football.

In addition, LEFA’s President, Advocate Salemane Phafane said they are still studying and drafting the regulation that can be used to minimize the spread of COVID-19 before they can return to the football fields.

Phafane also outlined that the money that is set aside for the preparations for the return of football is too little to meet their needs.

“Preparing for the return of football is going to be very expensive during these times of COVID-19,” he said.

Phafane also noted they are not ready to return to football fields. He added that they would like to return to the football fields when the spread of COVID-19 has declined.

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