The Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) has received an invitation from the Netball South Africa to send its team to the 2021 Men’s Netball Championship in Rustenburg taking place from 11 to 16 April 2021.
LNA Public Relations Officer, ‘Mamakebe Moshoeshoe said they received the invitation last month, but said however, that Lesotho’s participation is uncertain as lack of funds and the Covid-19 pandemic are still a challenge.
The association has been experiencing financial challenges since late 2019 into 2020 where the situation was made worse by the Covid-19 outbreak that saw the sports ministry’s annual financial allocation being diverted to the fight against the pandemic.
The financial struggles saw the association fail to fund the unfinished netball season of 2020/21.
“Currently we are considering approaching the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) and the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) for intervention and what to do with the invitation,” She said.
Netball South Africa has calmed fears of the spread of Covid-19 saying that preparations have already been done to ensure a safe environment for the tournament since netball courts as well as the accommodation will be in confined spaces.
They have also assured the participants that regular screening for Covid-19 will take place for both players and officials. This is because South Africa is the most hit country by the spread of the virus in the continent.
Lesotho last participated in the tournament in 2019, although they encountered financial challenges then, the team made it against all odds with the players paying for the accommodation and other logistics from their own pockets.
The Lesotho National Olympic Committee was only able to assist them with transportation. Last year November they failed to make the trip due to finances and the covid-19 travel restrictions.