Season won’t be cancelled

Season won’t be cancelled

MASERU-Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi has reaffirmed the association’s commitment to finish the 2019/20 football season which has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohapi insisted the season would not be cancelled and that football would resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
The football calendar was scheduled to conclude in May but Mohapi said, if needed, the season’s remaining games would be played in June or July and that any remaining cup games would be used as preseason matches in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign.

All leagues were suspended by LEFA on March 17.
The Econet Premier League has eight rounds of games left to play with Bantu leading the log with 50 points. Bantu need just one more win to clinch the title and are likely sweating the season’s conclusion.
Relegation from the top-flight also remains to be decided while the LNIG Top 8 is at its semi-finals stage.

The A-Division, meanwhile, is left with four matches per team in both the south and north streams.
In addition, the Nedbank 8 cup competition featuring the top four teams from each A-Division stream is normally staged at the end of the season followed by the Champion of Champions finale between the winners of the streams.

Manonyane and CCX currently lead their respective streams.
Mohapi said the usual off-season period of June and July could be used to wrap up the 2019/20 campaign.
The new league season usually begins in September.

“Football will continue, whether it’s in June or July, so that we can finish on time and be ready for the upcoming season. (June and July is) preseason either way, there are no games played during that time,” Mohapi said.
“The remaining cup games (such as) LNIG Top 8 and Nedbank 8 games can be used as preseason; also let’s not forget the current season did not start on time because the national team was playing. Let’s not panic, no season will be cancelled,” he insisted.

LEFA has also announced it was able to meet the deadline to apply for FIFA Emergency Relief Fund on Tuesday.
Last week FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the world governing body would support football associations during and beyond the coronavirus in a video message that was addressed to FIFA’s 211 member nations.

Part of FIFA’s plan includes an emergency relief fund to aid cash-strapped football authorities around the globe during the coronavirus which has brought football operations to a standstill around the world and affected economies.

FIFA said it has significant reserves of cash and declared that now was the time to put them to good use.
On Monday, FIFA circulated a spread-sheet to all its 211 member associations to fill in the financial implications brought by the coronavirus outbreak and how much this period of inactivity will impact each association. 

LEFA said it is hopeful it will get some assistance of which the association will advise in due course.
LEFA has also submitted a request for relief assistance for elite clubs to government through the Ministry of Gender and Sport, Youth and Recreation.

LEFA said it wished all members of the football fraternity well “during this difficult time” and it advised “all members of the fraternity to support the government of Lesotho in curbing this pandemic by observing the directives issued by government and observe the lockdown.”

Tlalane Phahla

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