Phafane outlays his vision

Phafane outlays his vision

MASERU – Advocate Salemane Phafane won the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) presidential elections last Saturday by a landslide of 42 votes against seven over his challenger Lijane Nthunya.
It was not even close.
Since then a lot has been said on what to expect from Phafane and his leadership in this term, and what this victory means for football in general.

Phafane had a lot to say to the congress and the media afterwards. Some of the most important points he made at the congress may have gotten lost in the brouhaha that followed his victory. He went into the elections as an overwhelming favourite to win and Nthunya learned the hard way that to be LEFA’s president you have to grind hard; you don’t start campaigning with two weeks to go, it is politics. Nthunya himself admitted that he learnt a lesson.
These are some of the things that Phafane had to say during and after the congress.

The Premier League Season
The president said football will be back sooner or later. He confirmed that LEFA is now in possession of written recommendations from the Premier League with regards to what should happen to the current season. Few weeks ago, the Premier League teams met and agreed that time to complete the season is gone and recommended that this season be canned in order to prepare for the new season.
Despite the recommendation the decision has not been announced by the association yet, but it is expected. The association is mindful of what happened the last time the Premier League teams asked for the season to be ended, what followed was series of legal cases challenging the decision, Phafane touched on that.

“That recommendation was emanating from PLMC and the clubs when we implemented that recommendation some clubs took us to court, they took us to the highest courts of our land in the football family being the arbitration tribunal where they lost. It meant that we were correct,” he said.
The main challenge that the football fraternity is facing right now is that they are unable to play. He said they are going through times when they are not even sure the leagues will finish.

Took aim at the government
When addressing the congress, the president did not waste time in reminding the football world how the government has neglected its responsibilities. He said LEFA has not received a penny of subvention from the government since 2012, the subvention has been piling up in the form of a debt that the government is now unable to pay.
It is not the first time Phafane talks about the money the government owes

LEFA, it goes above M10 million and has accumulated over the years.
“While we are still having the difficulty with regards to assistance with the government of Lesotho, we are made to understand that our government is going through a very difficult financial time and this appears to have been the case in the year 2012, because I can regrettably inform the congress that since 2012 the federation has not received it’s subvention at all,” he said.
“So when people say people say government is spending money on LEFA it is people who don’t know what they are saying and for that we forgive them,” he said.

Took a shot at his critics
In the build-up to the elections, the criticism for Phafane heightened in some quarters of the media. Last week LEFA’s secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi had a war of words with 357 FM presenter Lebohang Maketa while he was a guest on air.

Mohapi was there to push back on some of the things Maketa’s guests had said about Phafane and the association, however, the interview turned sour, and became unbearable to listen to.
Maketa also hosted Phafane’s opponent Nthunya and gave him airtime to outline his manifesto and further his campaign. Phafane did not get the same opportunity, but whether the invitation was extended to him or not is unknown.

Of course, Phafane did not waste any time in getting on his critics and said his victory shows the trust LEFA’s structures still have in him to lead the organisation. He said he takes this as a challenge, and that the football fraternity is yearning for growth and improvement of football and fast.
“If you look at the attacks on me the whole month, there were radio stations that were dedicated to attack me as a football leader, some were attacking me as a human being,” he said.

“Everyday day you knew there would be an attack on my name as a person, attack my name as leader in an attempt to displace trust the nation has on me. Despite that look how these football nation voted for me in high numbers and this gives me hope that this leadership and what it’s doing has transparency and has future,” Phafane said.

Tlalane Phahla

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