Lower division clubs fail to  account for Covid funds

Lower division clubs fail to account for Covid funds

MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has announced a list of clubs that did not account for the first batch of the Covid-19 Relief Fund they received last year.
The clubs are mainly lower division clubs from the B and C Division and, because of their failure to account, those clubs have not yet received their second batch of the same fund while other clubs have already received theirs.

The list was made public yesterday with the association saying there has been a concerted effort from club owners who wish to divert their failure to account for the money onto the association.
LEFA had previously vowed to come down hard on teams that would not comply and submit satisfactory documents to the association.
On top of not receiving their second batch, the association had promised to punish such teams. What punishment they will receive remains to be seen, however, over 200 lower division teams have not fully accounted for their money.

In May, LEFA president Advocate Salemane Phafane fired a warning to clubs that they need furnish the association with satisfactory documents showing how they used the previous money.
At the time there were some Premier League and A-Division clubs that had not fully accounted for their money. However, based on LEFA’s new list, it appears all clubs in the Premier League and A-Division have since accounted for theirs.

Last July, LEFA announced it was to receive USD$1 million (roughly M17 million) from FIFA as relief for football in the country during the Covid-19 pandemic. The was a pledge made by FIFA in June of the same year when its council unanimously approved a support plan that will make US$1.5 billion available to assist the global football community cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.

All 211 FIFA member associations were each entitled to a “basic solidarity grant” of US$1 million as well as US$500 000 which must be invested in women’s football.
The money was to be paid out in two batches of US$500 000 (M8.5 million) and the first batch came last September. The second batch arrived in January but was dispatched to clubs in May.
LEFA promptly drew up regulations and promised severe punishments to teams that misused the funds and clubs were told to start reporting back to LEFA by the end of November 30 last year.

Some of the teams that have not fully accounted for their money include the B-Division sides Masokolara, Mabeoana, Tšenola United amongst many.
The lower division teams received a bigger share of the FIFA Relief Fund money as they are many in number. In the first batch, the B-Division was allotted the biggest share of the money with the division’s 458 clubs sharing M4 580 000 million. The 181 C-Division teams were given M1 086 000 million which was also shared equally.

Tlalane Phahla

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