As weeks countdown to days to the kick-off of the 2030 World Cup  qualifying series in Africa, Lesotho, Nigeria’s first opponents have unveiled plans to have extra-fit players.

The Super Eagles will host Lesotho in Uyo on 16 November in a Group C opener.

Ahead of the clash, the President of Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) Salemane Phafane has officially opened a fully functional gymnasium to be used by Lesotho’s national teams.
The gym is located at the new technical centre at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena, which is a separate building that will be used by the association’s technical staff, including Likuena’s head coach and LEFA’s technical director.

In the past, the Lesotho football association has had to use private gym facilities or even been forced to go to South Africa at high costs, but that will now be a thing of the past.

The new gymnasium is one of a kind in the country and LEFA have become the country’s first sports association to have their own gym which will also be used by employees thanks to its convenient location at Bambatha, LEFA’s national headquarters.

The technical centre and gym are part of several projects that were launched by LEFA four years ago as part of the FIFA Forward Programme which aimed to improve the way the world governing body develops and supports football across the globe.

The FIFA Forward Programme was launched in 2016, and started with the FIFA Forward 1.0 and 2.0 editions.

In January this year, FIFA launched the 3.0 edition promising to provide even more comprehensive funding and support of football development projects across the world.

Speaking at Monday’s launch of the technical centre, Phafane said LEFA voted for FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the FIFA congress in 2019 because they believed he would deliver.

Phafane said Infantino has delivered and LEFA is proud to have elected him as FIFA president.

Phafane said there will be other projects to follow and LEFA have projects every year lined up to improve football in the country.

“We said we wanted to build a technical centre and move everyone in the technical (staff) from administration to their own offices, so that they can speak their technical stuff together led by the technical director,” Phafane said.

“We realised that we spend a lot of money at facilities that have gym equipment whether it’s here at home, Bloemfontein or Gauteng. We chose to build our own gym, (and) today that dream has come true,” he said.

The technical centre and gym were one of the first projects to be completed but had not been open for use.

Other projects have been launched for use such as the artificial turf in Mohale’s Hoek and Bambatha, as well as changing rooms and spectator seating arrangements at both venues.

For now, only the national teams will use the gym. Phafane said once LEFA have settled and arrangements have been made, local clubs might also gain access although that is not set in stone.

“For coaches, it’s time we see the results (now) that we have given you the facilities,” Phafane said.

“(The) technical director, the ball is now in your court to make sure our team does not fall from where we were in Durban (at the COSAFA Cup) and Mehalalitoe are leaving next week,” he said.

For now, the gym is managed by LEFA. The association’s executive committee will make a decision about whether to look for a permanent management solution in-house or source it from outside.

“We want to study the challenges first,” Phafane said. “(We) have fenced our site in Thaba-Tseka and we will now think about the second step. The association has also obtained lease agreements for sites in Berea, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek.”

The aim is to have quality LEFA-backed grounds in all districts which will be fenced with the help of the English Football Association (FA) and Union of European Football Association (UEFA).

LEFA also have a site in Ha-Mabote and Phafane said they plan to fence it before the end of this year or early next year.

The association said they are still developing further and pushing to bring a full sports science component to LEFA’s facilities which will cater for medicals and recoveries.



The post Ahead of World Cup qualifying tie with Super Eagles, Lesotho unveils state-of-the-art gym appeared first on Sports Village Square.

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