LEFA ex­ec­u­tive must go

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

NA­TIONAL team care­taker coach Seep­hephe Matete is un­der fire for Likuena’s re­cent poor run.

Le­sotho have since been elim­i­nated from the 2018 World Cup qual­i­fiers by min­nows Co­moros and on Sun­day, lost 3-1 to Zim­babwe in the first leg match of the 2016 African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (CHAN) qual­i­fier.

it’s only nat­u­ral that the coach takes the blame when the team is not do­ing well, but i also feel Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (LEFA) of­fi­cials should also be held li­able for Likuena’s strug­gles.

Af­ter all, th­ese are the peo­ple with the fi­nal say in the ap­point­ment and dis­missal of the coach and de­vel­op­ment of our foot­ball.

As much as Matete has had his short­com­ings as Likuena coach, the LEFA ex­ec­u­tive should also take the blame for the rot that has be­come syn­ony­mous with the na­tional game.

The de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of stan­dards has been go­ing on for some time now and i think it’s time the cur­rent foot­ball author­i­ties did the honourable thing — which is mak­ing way for oth­ers to bring new ideas to the ta­ble.

I know the of­fi­cials in ques­tion have this ten­dency of feel­ing dis­re­spected when we talk about them in the me­dia, but the facts are there to prove our foot­ball has been suf­fer­ing un­der their lead­er­ship.

My worry is the lead­er­ship ap­pears com­fort­able de­spite the mess our foot­ball finds it­self in.

The bot­tom line is every­thing con­cern­ing our na­tional team is very dis­or­gan­ised, to say the least.

For in­stance, the turnout of fans in re­cent Likuena matches has been very poor due to shoddy plan­ning and mar­ket­ing of the games by LEFA.

i think it’s time Ntate Sale­mane Phafane and his ex­ec­u­tive were hon­est with them­selves and ad­mit­ted all has not been well with the na­tional team of late.

i know it is easy to blame the coach for the poor re­sults, yet the truth of the mat­ter is he is not the only one re­spon­si­ble for this mess.

it’s a fact our youth de­vel­op­ment has not been up to scratch and there is no con­sis­tency when it comes to pro­duc­ing young tal- ent.

i mean, it was only a few years ago when a de­ci­sion was taken to with­draw Likuena from in­ter­na­tional foot­ball and we were told this was to en­sure an un­hin­dered build­ing process.

How­ever, noth­ing has been achieved as far as that mis­sion is con­cerned be­cause we have failed to qual­ify for any ma­jor tour­na­ment and pro­duce a new Likuena.

in­stead, the team has suf­fered hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feats against min­nows such as Co­moros and São Tomé.

The fact that the Co­moros had never made it past the pre­lim­i­nary stage of any ma­jor tour­na­ment un­til they beat Le­sotho on the away-goals rule last week, speaks vol­umes of how our foot­ball has suf­fered over re­cent months.

Likuena have be­come the laugh­ing stock of African foot­ball once again, and the dis­ap­point­ing thing is our author­i­ties are go­ing about their busi­ness as if noth­ing is wrong.

We have al­ways been told be­ing a mem­ber of the LEFA ex­ec­u­tive is out of good­will, and if that’s the case, then i don’t see why it should be a prob­lem for Ntate Phafane and his ex­ec­u­tive to step down since they have failed to bring any pos­i­tive change to our foot­ball.

i think the writ­ing has been on the wall for years now but we sim­ply didn’t take the mes­sage se­ri­ously and now we are pay­ing dearly for it through Likuena.

Pun­dits have ad­vised LEFA to have at least two na­tional teams un­der dif­fer­ent coaches so they could share re­spon­si­bil­i­ties due to the many com­pe­ti­tions Likuena are tak­ing part in.

Since we al­ready had a Likuena ‘B’ which showed so much prom­ise against South Africa in a re­cent friendly match, it would have made sense to have this team take part in the CHAN tour­na­ment, for in­stance.

Likuena’s per­for­mance at the Cosafa tour­na­ment held in South Africa in July was equally a dis­as­ter, and the same team has since lost two Na­tions Cup qual­i­fiers against Ethiopia and Al­ge­ria. Add the Co­moros hu­mil­i­a­tion and ham­mer­ing against Zim­babwe and you get a true pic­ture of where our foot­ball re­ally is.

Matete can­not be ex­pected to carry such a heavy load on his own, and if our foot­ball of­fi­cials re­ally cared about their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, they would have re­alised this a long time ago, and done some­thing to save the sit­u­a­tion in­stead of wait­ing for the coach to fail and then sack him.

But it’s re­ally not a sur­prise to me that our foot­ball con­tin­ues to move in cir­cles be­cause it re­flects an ex­ec­u­tive that does not have the love of the game at heart.

from left: Lefa Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee Pro Thabo maret­lane, Gen­eral Sec­re­tary mokhosi mo­hapi, Pres­i­dent Sale­mane Phafane and Deputy Pres­i­dent Khiba mo­hooanyane.

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