New artificial turf for Bambata

New artificial turf for Bambata

MASERU – Football’s world governing body, FIFA, has approved all the projects which Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) proposed to it and work is set to start at least by May this year according to LEFA president, Advocate Salemane Phafane.
The projects have been divided into small projects to ensure excellence in each one.
In total there are seven projects and six of them will be carried out at LEFA’s headquarters at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena.

These projects include the laying of an artificial turf on one of Bambatha’s two football grounds which Phafane said would be able to sustain up to 10 games in a day.
Bambatha’s other ground will be left with natural turf for training purposes and LEFA said it will be used to train especially on occasions when the national side goes out to play in countries which use grass.
Artificial turf will also be inserted at Mohale’s Hoek DiFA Ground and when all the work is done the country will have four grounds with artificial turf adding to the national stadium, Setsoto and the Maputsoe DiFA Ground.
Teams from the premier league and lower leagues will all benefit from the Bambatha ground but they will have to pay to use the facility.

LEFA, however, said its prices will not be as high as Setsoto’s.
“All our projects have been approved with enthusiasm by FIFA because they saw the projects had vision,” Phafane said on Tuesday.
“Under the FIFA Forward Project there are funds but you don’t just go there and I say I want funding. You have to satisfy (FIFA) that there is a need and you know what you are talking about. (You have to show) it will be for the benefit of football and you will be able to account for every penny. We have satisfied all the criteria; we have seven infrastructure programmes and we want to start in May this year,” Phafane added.

The projects will also include the addition of spectator seating at Bambatha’s facility.
“Here at the headquarters we are going to insert artificial turf because we realised natural turf can longer hold on because of the climate change,” Phafane said.
“You play three matches and (the turf) is done but our aim is for the teams in Maseru to play their games here because the artificial turf can sustain up to 10 games a day. Once we have it, all our clubs will have access to it; subject to regulations, of course. At Bambatha we are going to have seating arrangements. You will remember that at the moment we stand but now it will be yesterday’s story once these projects start. We will have a seating arrangement all-round. Of course, it cannot be that of international stadium, it will be that of training facility,” the LEFA boss said.

Phafane added: “At Bambatha we are going to have a gym centre. We realised and we know for our clubs to train well they need facilities. Now we spend a lot of money taking them to Lehakoe (Club), sometimes Bloemfontein at great expense. As it is, now (the national team) are in Pretoria. We have the need to have a gym centre for our clubs. Another one, remember a long time ago when this building was constructed it was never anticipated it would have dressing rooms and therefore our teams do not have dressing rooms. But it’s part of the project that has been approved.”

Phafane said LEFA will separate the Bambatha facility into two and will refurbish everything in the building. The other part of the facility will be used for commercial purposes. Phafane said this is because LEFA needs to generate its own revenue.

The commercial part will strictly be used for accommodation and it will provide food and other amenities.
LEFA has also increased the incentive for its district associations, DIFAs, and each will now get M60 000.
However, Phafane said the DIFAs must account for the money used and those that will fail to do so will not receive the next batch of incentives until they account for the previous one. All the clubs registered with DIFAs will each get two Puma balls and a scanner for their offices.

Tlalane Phahla

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