Football in Lesotho
Football is the oldest and most popular sport in Lesotho, and is enjoyed by 80% of those who play sport. Football receives the lion's share of the modest amount of funding provided by the country's government, and is therefore the sport the most likely to be able to unite the country, which is made up of various religions and political beliefs. The national team's greatest successes have been achieved in the regional COSAFA Cup (confederation of South African football associations). They reached the Final in 2000 by defeating Zambia and Angola, as well as the quarter-finals 12 months earlier. Styles Phumo is the most famous name in the history of football in Lesotho. He was the first homegrown coach to take over the reins of the national team, as the national association previously had a policy of hiring coaches from abroad. In 1998, he was appointed coach of Celtics FC in South Africa. He is currently the assistant coach of the South African national team.
The first Goal Project
On 8 April 2002, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and the AFC President and chairman of the Goal Bureau, Mohamed Bin Hammam, opened the Bambatha Ts'ita Sports Arena, a technical centre in Maseru. This complex has four conference rooms, a library, 35 double rooms, a restaurant, a fitness centre with two separate saunas for men and women, and 11 offices for the national association. The project was financed by Goal and the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme, while the government donated the land for the centre. To date, the centre has hosted a referees' course and three coaches' courses. The national teams of Botswana, Malawi and Swaziland have also paid the complex a visit. Furthermore, it will be home to a football school, which will concentrate on youth development.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Technical centre in Maseru
Project approved
4 July 2001
Opened on 8 April 2002
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 393,665 Government Land Total cost USD 793,665