LEFA weighs options

LEFA weighs options

MASERU-The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) National Executive Committee (NEC) and Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) are pondering what measures to take in light of the impact of the Covid-19 on the current football season.

Both entities say they have observed four probable scenarios that may come into effect.
At the very worst, LEFA and the PLMC say the season will be aborted.
If this happens it would render all the matches played in the leagues under LEFA as not having been played and, therefore, no teams would be considered for either promotion or relegation or no champions would be declared.

In a joint press statement released yesterday, LEFA and the PLMC said another option being weighed is the season being extended.
“This means that given that under normal circumstances the leagues under the auspices of LEFA end on the 31st May of each year, this criteria will consider ending it at a later stage during the year resulting in the leagues probably being able to be played to a finish and the principles of relegation and promotion being implemented,” the statement said.

Another possibility is games being played at a designated ground with no spectators allowed.
However, both LEFA and the PLMC said this likelihood is highly improbable given that coronavirus restraints may prevail for a long time even if current lockdown restrictions are eased by the government.
“The league matches being played without spectators at designated stadia only (is an option),” the statement said.

“This would be effected if the government eases restrictions on the lockdowns and downscales the risks. However, only players, club officials, match officials, medical personnel and few media officers attending such matches at selected designated stadia only under very stringent safety measures,” the statement said.

“While NEC and PLMC keep pondering on which is the best scenario, they will consult and depend on the directives of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho in its pursuit of containing the pandemic,” the bodies said.
The statement said both the NEC and PLMC are aware of the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the clubs and are brainstorming on what forms of relief would assist the teams.

Meanwhile, LEFA has also announced that FIFA under its Forward Operations Programme will release operations funding three months earlier to assist its 211 member associations (Mas) which have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It should be pointed out to avoid confusion that this is in respect of administration and development funding due to the MAs and not for assistance to clubs which will hopefully be approved by FIFA in due course at which point the fraternity will be informed,” LEFA said.

Furthermore, FIFA has also agreed to release to its member associations any amount that was withheld by the football governing body as a result on non-compliance in 2019.

Tlalane Phahla

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