A delegation from Lesotho Football Association (LFA) and Lesotho Premier League (LPL) was in Botswana over the weekend to benchmark with the Botswana Premier League (BPL) on the process of transitioning from amateur football to a professional setup.
The delegation, led by Lesotho FA Secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi, was received by BPL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bennett Mamelodi.
“We hope to learn a lot from this visit. We are very impressed with what you have achieved and we want to implement the same in our country,” said Mohapi.
The BPL is in the process of transitioning to a professional setup that will enable it to commercialise football. In 2014, sponsors of the domestic league announced a P30 million deal with the BPL making it one of the most lucrative. Mohapi said they opted to benchmark with the BPL instead of bigger and more developed leagues to avoid complacency in future.
“We are aware that you are in a process of building something big and we felt it would be best to benchmark with you,” Mohapi said.
During the visit, the Lesotho FA was given insight into the daily operations of the Premier League and briefed on issues of corporate governance, marketing, security, media as well as communication. Mamelodi told the delegation that priority should be on improving the standards of the league in terms of product attractiveness and relevance.
“This will enable your league to grow and attract sponsors who will then take it to the highest levels,” he said.
Mamelodi further told the delegation that most football players depend on the sport for their livelihood, which makes it imperative to inculcate acceptable standards of governance at club level to ensure professionalism. He also encouraged clubs to learn from teams like Ajax Capetown which managed to successfully mobilise support from the community during its professionalization. The Lesotho FA delegation also attended the Mascom Top 8 semi finals in Francistown, in which Orapa United locked horns with BDF XI while Township Rollers played against Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The delegation also participated in all aspects of match organisation and attended pre-match meetings; the intention being to give them an idea of how local clubs conduct their business.