Former Lesotho National senior soccer team Likuena player Teele Ntšonyana, who is now a licensed coach, said he was kicked out of a Coaching Instructors’ workshop by the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) at their headquarters in Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena in Maseru on Monday, because of being vocal against corruption.
Teller as he is affectionately known, said he believes the reason for his ouster all this is that he is the only one who was bold enough to call out LeFA first vice president Khiba Mohoanyane, who is also the president of DiFA Leribe, for using the LeFA Covid-19 Relief Fund to buy votes to the DiFA residency.
“The Covid-19 relief fund money was used to lobby for votes by giving it to the teams that have not played even one game, they used teams that are not registered rightfully to be part of the DiFA elections in Leribe so that they vote for them and I called them out on that,” he said.
Ntšonyana told Newsday Sport in an exclusive interview that he was already inside the hall when he was kicked out by the LeFA Head of Education unit Lehlohonolo Thotanyana.
“I arrived there for the course like all the other coaches but I was called out a few minutes after my arrival by Mr Lehlohonolo Thotanyana who told me I was not welcome in there,” Ntšonyana said.
He said he was stunned by the news seeing as he had been party to a previous instructors course which had been held via zoom, hence he sought clarity as to why he was not being allowed to be part of this particular course.
“I attempted to get answers why and who said I should not be part of the course, which is when I was told by Mr Thotanyana that LeFA first vice president said it was the decision of the National Executive Committee,” he said.
He said he is not going to stop fighting the good fight for the betterment of football and vowed to fight against injustices in football.
“I might have failed to be part of this workshop now but nobody can ever take my knowledge and experience from me. They can do whatever they want, but they will not succeed.
“They wanted to degrade me but I am not degraded and they wanted to embarrass me but I am not embarrassed. I have served this country and I will continue to do so without any fear,” Ntšonayana said.
Meanwhile, LeFA released a statement on the evening of the same day saying that Ntšonyana was removed following a series of allegations received by LeFA from District Football Associations (DiFAs)which are LeFA’s affiliates.
“These allegations involve acts of misconduct which have to be investigated and which if proven right would amount to bringing the association into disrepute.
“The letters of complaints against Mr Ntšonyana have also been sent to the President of Coaches Association for appropriate investigation and action,” the statement reads, adding therefore that on the basis of the foregoing he would be excluded from the workshop.
In response to the statement, Ntšonyana dismissed it as baseless adding that there was no way that the association could mention a misconduct and not quote the law or constitution.
“I understand that in their statement I am accused of misconduct but they cannot speak of misconduct or contravention of any law without quoting that law from the constitution,” Ntšonyana said.
He further accused the association of not appreciating fact that he is not afraid of speaking his mind and freely telling them off where they are wrong or when he has different opinions from them.
“I have opinions that are different from them and I am not afraid to say when something is wrong hence they will say I am fighting them when I am not. They are self-serving and position-oriented people who are not running our football properly,” he stated.
For his part, Mohoanyane refuted as baseless allegations that abused his power and position by buying votes in the recent DiFA Leribe elections and that he was, as a result, victimizing Ntšonyana for speaking out against it.
He said such were accusations of a man who is full of anger.
“Besides the fact that he (Ntšonyana) is full of anger for no reason, all I can say is those claims made by him are baseless and unfounded,” Mohoanyane said.
“He is just trying to find someone to blame for his own problems which he created for himself. I will not say much on those because the association has already put out a statement” he said.