Following a public outcry about the treatment meted to Team Lesotho athletes last week ahead of the opening ceremony of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games, Lesotho’s Chef De Mission, Caswell Moru has apologised to the athletes.
Harrowing accounts of athletes sleeping on the floor and chairs of ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre while others slept on the buses after the send-off ceremony made the rounds on social and mainstream media last week.
This was due to no transport to take them to the athletes’ village while those who had managed to make it to the village at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) had nowhere to sleep.
Moru said all that mishap was due to the communication breakdown among the games’ Local Organising Committee (LOC) members.
“Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologise to the athletes and the nation at large, this was unforeseen. We totally understand the nation’s anger and can assure them that we did our best to resolve the issue as well as correct that miscommunication,” Moru said.
He said in their efforts to try and salvage the mishap on Wednesday, they eventually got hold of transport means but when the first batch of athletes got to the village, there was no bed linen.
“When we discovered that the beds at the village had no linen, it was decided that they should sleep on the buses while those who were at convention centre were to sleep there,” he said.
Meanwhile, Team Lesotho’s performance at the games has been horrific with only Taekwondo and Gymnastics being able to scoop some medals.
The host country has also been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic upsurge where at least six taekwondo athletes and a coach, 10 basketball players, an athletics coach and five footballers tested positive for Covid-19 as at last Friday.
Deputy Chairperson of the AUSC Region 5 Games LOC, Mohale Mabaleha has since allayed fears about the games not being scuttled by the Covid-19 infections as he averred that they have the situation under control.
“We are aware of the cases that have been emerging but I can’t say we are worried as there were already measures in place to curb the spread.
“We have rooms that are being used as isolation centres at the villages and as we speak those who have tested positive are being monitored by doctors. We have the situation under control and safety is our priority in these games,” Mabaleha said.