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Table Tennis Lesotho might lose AUSC rights

Oct. 17, 2019 2 min read

MASERU - Lesotho is likely to lose hosting rights for the AUSC Region 5 Table Tennis Championships, as nobody has offered to finance the event.

The Lesotho Table Tennis Association (LTTA) was last year mandated to host the games scheduled for December 6 to 10, and has already held the national championships to select the team that will represent Lesotho in the competition. The team comprises eight players, being four males and four females. 

In an interview with Metro, LTTA public relations officer, Miss Thato Mathibeli, said they thus far failed to secure financial support for the games – she revealed they sent a proposal for sponsorship but nothing has come up yet. “The LSRC indicated that they do not have funds to assist us in hosting this competition, information relayed earlier this year on the grounds that the commission’s coffers are dry,” she said. 

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The sorry state of finances has not only put in jeopardy Lesotho’s hosting rights of the games, Ms Mathibeli also revealed that Team Lesotho is not yet in camp while other countries have started preparations for the competition. This is the first table tennis championships the country hosts in its long history in sports.  LSRC publicist, Mr Teboho Rakhomo, confirmed in a separate interview that the commission does not have the financial muscle to support the championships.

“As we earlier announced that resultant from the financial crisis that government is currently facing, we do not have money to sponsor not only this championship but other codes as well,” he said.  The Lesotho National Olympics Committee (LNOC) and the Commonwealth Games Lesotho have tried to render assistance following discussions on the procedure and responsibilities associated with sponsorship for this kind of competition. 

LNOC and the Commonwealth Games director of operations, Mr Pulumo Nchakha, reiterated that the LTTA had approached them requesting sponsorship to host the games but had told the association LNOC did not have finances to assist.   Mr Nchakha further pointed out that the responsibility of sponsoring this kind of competition solely lies with the LSRC and not LNOC. 

“Our role as the LNOC is to authorise the hosting of the competition as the president did through a letter to that effect; the role of providing sponsorship entirely lies with the LSRC as it is the one which gets subvention from the government,” he clarified. An agreement has, however, been reached for the presidents of the LSRC, the LNOC and ITTF to meet on October 25 to come to a last minute agreement to salvage the games and protect both the hosting association and the country’s reputation. 

The championships are expected to be attended by ten regional countries.

Team Lesotho squad comprises:

Male players: Khethang Mothibi, Tšeliso Chere, Likhetho Mothibi and Hareteke Mapeshoane. 

Female players: Matšeliso Chere, Thato Mathibeli, Nthabeleng Mokeki and Realeboha Bofelo.

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