It has come to my observations that some matters are topsy-turvy when it concerns local football. In particular, analysing how things are done by Lesotho football clubs, I am cajoled to elucidate this stage-by-stage.
Let’s begin with the development sides – C and B Divisions. Most of those clubs in the C and B Division pay at least M150 for their registration and they are more than 3,000 countrywide. They also pay match officials who officiate their matches at least M100 per head.
But only those who make it to the national competition and qualify to represent the district get the prize money, something like M12,500 for 1st prize. Each of the four teams that make it to the national competition sometimes receive a soccer kit.
The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) also donates balls at the beginning of every season to the district football associations to be used by the A and C Division clubs.
Seriously, M12,500 does not cover the costs for transport, meals and accommodation for the eight clubs which make it to the Top 8 and last Top-4. But the fact that Basotho love their football, they will do anything in their power to run competitive clubs each year and sometimes they even have girls and development teams in their clubs. All these further extend their expenditure with no returns!
The National A Division Management Committee (ADMACO) is trying to meet the clubs half way; they have divided the 20 clubs into two streams of 10 each – Northern and Southern Streams to cut down transport costs.
But the clubs are still faced with a serious challenge of paying for their trips, meals and accommodation.
The ream that comes 1st in the league is rewarded M12,750, Top-8 teams – M8,000, and the winner of Champs of Champs pockets M8,500. That is a total of M29,250 in the event that the prizes are won by a single club.
Just to demonstrate the passion the Basotho have for football in this country, I now shift my focus on what besets the premier league club. Talking of Bantu, Kick4Life and Lioli just to mentions a few; their budgets exceed M2 million to run the clubs per season. This is for transport for the league fixture matches, meals, camp, attire, and salaries for players, technical team, and office staff.
At the end of the year, they only get less than M750,000 for winning the league M200,000, Top8 and M200,000 Top4.
As for the rest of the budget, clubs get monies from a few sponsors. Therefore, having all this in cogitation, one has to state unequivocally that it is high time the Lesotho government puts matters into perspective and review the football budget.
On our shores we have big companies such as cement companies, furniture shops and petrol stations, banks, construction enterprises, products like cigarettes and alcohol who can also assist in terms of ameliorating the unbearable situation plaguing the beautiful game in our country. After all, they make hefty profits without ploughing back to the same communities that sustain their businesses.