Maliehe new Likuena coach

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

Mat­lama coach Moses Maliehe can only take over the na­tional team af­ter next week­end’s In­de­pen­dence Cup tour­na­ment, the Le­sotho Times can re­veal.

Maliehe was ap­pointed na­tional team in­terim coach af­ter the le­sotho Foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion (lefa) fired Seep­hephe Matete from the post fol­low­ing Sun­day’s drawn African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship (CHAN) qual­i­fier against Zim­babwe at Set­soto sta­dium.

the draw saw le­sotho crash­ing out of the CHAN tour­na­ment af­ter los­ing the first leg 1-3 in Zim­babwe, while likuena also failed to beat the Co­moros in the 2018 Fifa World Cup pre­lim­i­nary qual­i­fier early this month.

lefa had set Matete a tar­get of mak­ing it to the CHAN tour­na­ment set for Rwanda in Jan­uary next year, and beat­ing the Co­moros but af­ter fail­ing to achieve both, he was shown the door by lefa.

How­ever, im­pec­ca­ble sources told the Le­sotho Times that Maliehe would not be as­sum­ing his new post un­til af­ter the 7-8 Novem­ber In­de­pen­dence Cup tour­na­ment. Mat­lama face archri­vals li­oli in the semi­fi­nal of the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion sched­uled for Set­soto Sta­dium.

ac­cord­ing to the sources, Maliehe wants to give Mat­lama man­age­ment time to find his re­place­ment be­fore tak­ing up the na­tional team post. Maliehe was ap­pointed Mat­lama coach at the start of this sea­son. He would not com­ment on the mat­ter when the Le­sotho Times con­tacted him on tues­day.

How­ever, lefa pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Thabo Maret­lane, told the Le­sotho Times Maliehe had been ear­marked for the likuena po­si­tion.

“We made a de­ci­sion on Sun­day af­ter part­ing ways with Ntate Matete, to ap­point na­tional un­der-20 team coach Moses Maliehe as new likuena coach. Every­thing will be fi­nalised be­fore the end of this week.”

Mean­while, lefa re­leased a state­ment this week that Matete’s sup­port staff — team man­ager Khiba Mo­hoanyane, as­sis­tant coach Hale­makale Mahlaha and goal- keep­ers’ coach, Mat­soai Shokhoe — had also been re­lieved of their du­ties.

Read the state­ment: “You will re­call that likuena’s tech­ni­cal and man­age­ment team had a man­date, and this man­date has not been at­tained.

“as a re­sult, the Na­tional Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee of the le­sotho Foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion has re­leased the tech­ni­cal team from their en­gage- ment with the na­tional team with ef­fect from 25 Oc­to­ber.

“the lead­er­ship of lefa wishes to thank the gen­tle­man who had made huge per­sonal sac­ri­fices to steer likuena through its en­deav- ors and wish them well in their next com­mit­ments.”

likuena are only in ac­tion in March next year when they re­sume their 2017 Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fiers.

likuena striker Thapelo Tale (right) takes on a Zim­bab­wean de­fender in Sun­day’s CHAN qual­i­fier played at Set­soto sta­dium.

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