M200 000 not enough for cham­pi­ons

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

With the cur­tain com­ing down on Le­sotho’s 2014/15 pre­mier league cam­paign last week­end, i must say there were many talk­ing points which made it a spe­cial foot­ball sea­son in­deed.

Among the is­sues un­der dis­cus­sion were the many goals scored, which made the fans ex­tremely happy and helped main­tain a de­cent pres­ence of sup­port­ers at the var­i­ous sta­di­ums.

For so long, we had com­plained about lack of goals in our elite league, but the strik­ers re­sponded in kind, with the top­scorer, Litšepe Marabe, find­ing the back of the net 22 times in 24 matches.

this is the same guy who did not play com­pet­i­tive foot­ball at all last sea­son while still with South African first di­vi­sion side, Garankuwa United due to work-per­mit is­sues.

Apart from Marabe, there was Phafa tšosane in sec­ond po­si­tion with 15 goals, while five or more other play­ers also breached the 10-goal mark.

Such goal-fest brings ex­cite­ment to our foot­ball, hence this sea­son kept us at the edge of our seats till the very end, with Li­oli win­ning the big prize.

Even teams pro­moted at the start of the cam­paign, namely Kick­4life and Lik­ila United, had their play­ers among the top scor­ers, with the for­mer’s thabiso Brown end­ing the sea­son on 10 goals.

how­ever, i never saw any­thing spe­cial in the goal­keep­ing depart­ment, and i guess this is why there is still no-one chal­leng­ing vet­er­ans such as Mohau Kue­nane, Lite­boho Mokhesi and Kholuoe Pha­sumane, for Likuena’s first choice po­si­tion.

Even in de­fence, the na­tional team coach will agree with me that he has a headache to fill the gap left by vet­eran cen­tre-back and cap­tain, Moitheri Ntobo.

Last year, Ntobo had to be called out of re­tire­ment af­ter he had hung-up his Likuena boots be­cause the coaches could not find ad­e­quate re­place­ment.

Mean­while, although there were many im­prove­ments out­side the pitch, i feel there is still a long way to go for our pre­mier league and foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion as a whole.

the last pre­mier league awards were not han­dled prop­erly, for in­stance. i had ex­pected a short­list of play­ers for the in­di­vid­ual awards at least three to four games be­fore the end of the sea­son, which did not hap­pen.

i would have also thought there was go­ing to be a panel of judges, that in­cluded re­porters who cover th­ese matches week in and week out, to choose the out­stand­ing play­ers, which was how­ever, not the case.

the same thing has hap­pened once again, which is un­for­tu­nate as i was think­ing we had learnt from last sea­son’s mis­takes.

The free-flow­ing foot­ball aside, for teams like Nyenye Rovers, Qoal­ing high­landers, LDF and Linare, this was but a night­mare of a sea­son.

Rovers and high­landers have since been rel­e­gated to the A Di­vi­sion while LDF and Linare failed to qual­ify for the an­nual in­de­pen­dence Cup or top-four com­pe­ti­tion.

Yet this is the same LDF side which once topped the 14-team ta­ble af­ter go­ing on a 13-match un­beaten run early in the sea­son. this can only mean one thing — that this army side lacks qual­ity when you com­pare it with LDF teams of yes­ter­year, which used to rule the do­mes­tic game.

For Linare, the club needs to get their house in or­der if they dream of be­com­ing a force to reckon with once again.

it is to­tally un­ac­cept­able that such a big team has failed to win the league ti­tle for over three decades.

On a dif­fer­ent note, i must also thank league-spon­sors Vo­da­com, LNIG who bankroll the top 8 tour­na­ment and Stan­dard Le­sotho Bank and Metropoli­tan Le­sotho, which fund the in­de­pen­dence Cup.

th­ese three com­pe­ti­tions made this a mem­o­rable sea­son as the gi­ants of do­mes­tic foot­ball bat­tled-it-out for honours.

how­ever, i would like to make a hum­ble ap­peal to th­ese or­gan­i­sa­tions to in­crease their spon­sor­ship go­ing for­ward.

i have a feel­ing our league has out­grown the monies that are be­ing prof­fered as prizes, and can’t wait for the day when our teams will be get­ting M1mil­lion for win­ning a com­pe­ti­tion.

Nkhabut­lane Mot­lokoa re­cently pock­eted M250 000 for win­ning a race in South Africa, and this was all in a day’s work — in fact, less than three hours’ work. But it takes a whole team of foot­ballers al­most one year to win M200 000, hence my plea that this spon­sor­ship be re­viewed.

i have been in foot­ball for a long time in dif­fer­ent port­fo­lios and know that run­ning a soc­cer team is very ex­pen­sive, hence the need for the cor­po­rate sec­tor to go the ex­tra mile and in­crease prize monies.

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