LEFA fail­ing our football with Likuena

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

our beloved na­tional soc­cer team Likuena once again dis­ap­pointed the coun­try on Sun­day with a goal­less draw against Botswana in the open­ing match of the 2016 African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (CHAN) pre­lim­i­nary South­ern Zone qual­i­fiers.

Likuena had just suf­fered a 2-1 away loss to ethiopia the pre­vi­ous week­end and many saw the match against Botswana as the team’s chance to get back to win­ning ways fol­low­ing a run of poor re­sults over re­cent months.

The Seep­hephe matete-coached side were very poor dur­ing last month’s COSAFA com­pe­ti­tion held in South Africa, los­ing 2-1 ver­sus mada­gas­car and 2-0 against Swaziland to exit the re­gional tour­na­ment in the first round.

The fact of the mat­ter is it has been very tough for matete since tak­ing over the reins early last year and the coach has also pub­licly ad­mit­ted that he is feel­ing the heat which comes with the job.

The chang­ing and chop­ping of play­ers is clear tes­ti­mony that this is a man un­der pres­sure and who ap­pears un­sure of his next move to ar­rest the rot.

By the way, prob­lems were there for ev­ery­one to see even be­fore Likuena de­parted for the COSAFA tour­na­ment in rusten­burg where our top scorer, Litšepe marabe, was dropped from the squad.

To me, the pun­ish­ment was un­war­ranted and the Le­sotho Football As­so­ci­a­tion (LEFA) should have me­di­ated in the dis­pute be­tween the player and tech­ni­cal depart­ment over what­ever dif­fer­ences they were hav­ing.

But it was ob­vi­ous from that mo­ment that no one cared from the as­so­ci­a­tion and the team left for the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion with a very thin strik­ing force.

As ex­pected, we paid a heavy price in rusten­burg as Thapelo Tale, who was our trump card, had not had the best of sea­sons with Likhopo.

That, by it­self, told a story of a team lack­ing di­rec­tion and am­bi­tion be­cause our other striker, Nkoto ma­soabi, did not have the needed in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for us to shine at the re­gional cham­pi­onship.

Talk­ing about Sun­day’s per­for­mance against Botswana, I think it was one of the worst I have seen from our na­tional team in a long time.

This is why I say LEFA of­fi­cials have failed the coun­try be­cause they are well aware that matete and his charges have been un­der so much pres­sure that for me, the best op­tion at that stage would have been to use the ‘B’ team against Botswana.

my rea­son for this sug­ges­tion is that the se­nior team had not just re­turned from an im­por­tant match in ethiopia but also been strug­gling with their game for a while now.

The other rea­son is the re­serve side had proved its pedi­gree against South Africa, al­beit a sec­ond-rate one, be­fore the COSAFA event, with the match end­ing goal­less.

I know LEFA man­age­ment do not take too kindly to crit­i­cism from jour­nal­ists, but Likuena’s slide to the dol­drums is some­thing that can­not be ig­nored be­cause if we do, then the team would reach a point of no re­turn.

What is the use of hav­ing a na­tional ex­ec­u­tive when it can­not take ac­tion when our football is suf­fer­ing so much?

What else should hap­pen for this man­age­ment to re­alise that our football is in a cri­sis be­cause the sta­tis­tics are there to prove that all is not well in the Likuena camp?

I said it be­fore that even the body lan­guage of the play­ers says it all — that this is a house in trou­ble and the fam­ily is lost as to the next course of ac­tion.

It is clear the coaches need help and only LEFA man­age­ment can fix the prob­lem be­cause Likuena’s medi­ocrity is some­thing many of our fans have openly said they can­not take any­more, par­tic­u­larly when the as­so­ci­a­tion has in­creased ticket-prices for matches.

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