Govt right to let go of sta­di­ums

Sunday Express - - Sport -

LAST week govern­ment fi­nally handed over the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Seeiso Leshoboro and Set­soto Sta­di­ums (in Mafeteng and Maseru re­spec­tively) to the Le­sotho Sport and Recre­ation Com­mis­sion (LSRC)- a move that must be ap­plauded be­cause the Sports min­istry was ev­i­dently strug­gling to prop­erly ad­min­is­ter the two fa­cil­i­ties, es­pe­cially Set­soto.

I can­not re­mem­ber the last time Set­soto was in mint con­di­tion for foot­ball and other events. This is not­with­stand­ing the fact that there is sta­dium man­ager whose man­date is to en­sure that the fa­cil­ity is well taken care of.

Set­soto does not even come close to any of in­ter­na­tional sta­di­ums in other coun­tries in terms of qual­ity but it is the best that we have. So for that rea­son it has to be prop­erly ad­min­is­tered but it was sim­ply de­te­ri­o­rat­ing in the hands of the Sports min­istry.

Be­sides that, it would seem that pri­or­ity was be­ing given to non-sport­ing ac- tiv­i­ties be­cause these were will­ing to pay more than foot­ball teams.

We ac­cept that it is costly to main­tain sta­di­ums but at the same time sport­ing events are the core busi­ness which should log­i­cally be given pri­or­ity.

Even the money Set­soto makes from non-sport­ing events should be chan­nelled to the main­te­nance of the sta­dium which does not ap­pear to be the case at the mo­ment.

That sta­dium still has the same ar­ti­fi­cial turf that was in­stalled al­most a decade ago by the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion through FIFA’s help. It has how­ever de­gen­er­ated and is in need of re­fur­bish­ment.

As for Leshoboro, the sta­dium is also in a bad state, so much such that Mafeteng­based league cham­pi­ons, Bantu de­cided against us­ing it as their home ground.

Some will ask why hand over the sta­di­ums when they are at this level of de­te­ri­o­ra­tion? Is it about govern­ment shirk­ing from its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties? It is a ques­tion I asked Sport min­is­ter, Ka­belo Ma­fura, dur­ing last week han­dover cer­e­mony and he pledged govern­ment as­sis­tance in the re­fur­bish­ment of the two sta­di­ums.

What­ever the rea­son, it is bet­ter late than never for the govern­ment to do the right thing of hand­ing over to an or­gan­i­sa­tion such as the LSRC which would be bet­ter placed to look after the fa­cil­i­ties well.

We all know that de­spite the min­is­ter’s as­sur­ances the wheels of govern­ment usu­ally move slowly due to bu­reau­cracy. We how­ever, hope that the is­sue of re­fur­bish­ing the sta­di­ums will be treated with the ur­gency that it de­serves.

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