Govt right to let go of stadiums
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.