LEFA wants Covid-19 law out

LEFA wants Covid-19 law out

MASERU-The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) wants laws prohibiting the return of sports in the country to be eased down.

LEFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said even if a decision to end the current league season is made, the law will still be in place and will forbid the start of next season which is projected to be in October.

Mohapi said instead of fighting amongst themselves, sports stakeholders should be standing together to fight to get the law removed.
He said LEFA still wants to finish the league campaign and believes there is still time to do so.

“We still want the national leagues to be played to the finish albeit time is no longer on our side as long as the law is still there,” Mohapi said.
“You may talk about ending the season and what comes quickly to your mind is that we end (this season now) and in October we start the new season. But the law still says no sport and, at the end of the day, even October you look at it and say, hell no, the league won’t start because the law says we cannot practise sport,” Mohapi added.

“I would rather put aside our egos and let us get the law to be eased. We are led by associations who hardly got any activity and for them if they say non-contact sport they advocate for non-contact sport,” he said.

The football season was suspended in March because of COVID-19 and LEFA has had several meetings with the National Emergency Command Centre (NECC) over the return of football in recent weeks but there is still no breakthrough.

The NECC has to recommend to the government that football be given the green light or not, he said.
“We can choose two things, to fight to get the law removed, or fight amongst ourselves and not get the law removed,” Mohapi said.

“I know what people are going to say, end the league now; do you know what the NECC is going to say? Well what’s the hurry of getting the law removed, there is no need to advance your request because you have ended the league, you can end it until next year in January.

“What if by March 2021 our ministry has not moved an inch in terms of returning to football and the law still says sport is prohibited?”
He said it was sad because sports associations were fighting amongst themselves instead of furnishing the ministry with proposals.

Mohapi said it will depend on what they agree on for football to return.
If we agree there is still time to go back to football, we will have to undertake more stringent precautions in order not to be seen as an epicentre of the spread of the coronavirus and that will cost the country a lot, he said.

“I have seen a figure being bandied of M5 million,” Mohapi said.
“I think that is a luxury figure, I think that’s the figure the Premier League in South Africa is not even prepared to use, that is a figure that when people put it they forget that the responsibility of running a football club belongs to the club itself and we can only come in and assist.

“What do we need? We need things like sanitisers, the club has to make sure that they provide, when you talk about personal protective equipment, the law as it is now says everyone must have a mask.

“Now because we are talking about football returning everyone says LEFA should buy masks, does this make sense?” he said.
He said it was absurd for clubs to be demanding that LEFA provide soaps and sanitisers when the league resumes.

“It is absurd, I don’t understand it, it is incomprehensible that at this point in time we can be talking about things like this,” Mohapi said.

Tlalane Phahla

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