LeFA ready for CAF’s fine
Published on August 17, 2014 · No Comments
Association cancels Makoanyane XI’s trip to Nigeria due to Ebola
MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) faces a fine for cancelling the trip to Nigeria where the Lesotho Under-20 national soccer team, Makoanyane XI, were supposed to take on Nigeria in an African Youth Championships third round’s first leg match set for tomorrow.
Makoanyane XI were set to leave for Nigeria yesterday (Thursday) after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) insisted they should go to Nigeria and honour the fixture, but LeFA cancelled the trip, citing they don’t want to take the of risk exposing the players to Ebola.
“They are no longer going. We have cancelled the trip due to the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria,” said LeFA spokesperson, Thabo Maretlane in an interview with Public Eye yesterday.
“CAF insisted that we should go there and play but we could not take such a risk for our players and Basotho in general. We would rather be fined.”
Like Maretlane has said, the ministry of youth and gender, sports and recreation’s Chief Information Officer, Maqalika Matsepe, yesterday told this paper he had heard that LeFA were the ones who made the decision to cancel the trip and not his ministry.
“I have just heard that LeFA are the ones who made that decision, and are yet to write to the director (the ministry) formally. But telephonically they did so, I have heard,” said Matsepe.
Matsepe further noted: “But still, CAF insisted that they should honour the game, while on the other hand the WHO has indicated that Ebola is there in Nigeria.”
However, according to Matsepe, the expectation is that the minister of health, Dr Pinkie Manamolela, would make an official statement concerning the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria, after the cabinet of Lesotho decided that no one from Nigeria should be allowed to enter into the country until further notice.
Makoanyane XI reached this last qualifying round of the African Youth Under-20 Championships, which is scheduled for Senegal next year, after beating Swaziland and Angola 4-3 and 4-1 on goal aggregate in the first and second round respectively.
They have so far qualified for the competition twice; in 2005 and 2011 when the championships were held in Benin and South Africa respectively.
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