Veteran LEFA ad­min­is­tra­tor calls time on ca­reer

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

LONG serv­ing Le­sotho Football As­so­ci­a­tion (LEFA) na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber, Thabo Pule will step down af­ter 30 years of ser­vice in soccer ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The 70-year old Pule this week told the Le­sotho Times he would not seek re-elec­tion at next month’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee elec­tions to choose a new six mem­ber com­mit­tee. Pule has been with LEFA for 24 years.

At stake are the po­si­tions of first vice-pres­i­dent (cur­rently held by Khiba Mo­hoanyane), sec­ond vice-pres­i­dent (left va­cant af­ter Le­bo­hang Thotanyana’s res­ig­na­tion in 2014), pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer (cur­rently held by Thabo Maret­lane) as well as three mem­ber­ship po­si­tions cur­rently held by Rantsubise Matete, Mot­lokoa Mafan­tiri and the re­tir­ing Pule.

The po­si­tion of pres­i­dent will be con­tested next year.

Pule said he felt he had done his part and it was time he made way for young blood.

“I am quit­ting all my po­si­tions ex­cept for match com­mis­sioner for the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Football (CAF) and the football gov­ern­ing body FIFA un­til 2018,” he said.

“I will not seek re-elec­tion at LEFA and the district of Berea where I was pres­i­dent.”

Pule stressed he re­mained com­mit­ted to football and would give ad­vice when called upon to do so.

“Football re­mains my ad­dic­tion, so I will al­ways be avail­able to as­sist where I am needed. I gave the same mes­sage to those that I worked with in Berea where I was pres­i­dent.”

The veteran ad­min­is­tra­tor said it had been bet­ter be­fore the as­so­ci­a­tion be­came an in­de­pen­dent body be­cause its ac­tiv­i­ties had been bankrolled by govern­ment and did not ex­pe­ri­ence fi­nan­cial con­straints as they did now.

“How­ever, the game has grown be­cause there are a lot of cup com­pe­ti­tions lo­cally while our na­tional teams also have a chance to com­pete in more in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments such as the COSAFA Cup, Africa Cup of Na­tions and the World Cup,” said Pule.

“I would also say the first few years af­ter the for­ma­tion of LEFA were more suc­cess­ful as we played the fi­nal of the COSAFA Cup where we lost to Zim­babwe.”

The Berea-born ad­min­is­tra­tor said his best years were 2003 and 2004 when he was the team man­ager of the un­der-17 team.

“As an ad­min­is­tra­tor, you are al­ways happy when you are part of a suc­cess­ful project and at that time, I was man­ager of the un­der-17 team that grad­u­ated to the un­der-20 a few years later and qual­i­fied for the African Youth Cham­pi­onship in Benin in 2005,” Pule said.

“This group was blessed with tal­ent and depth in all de­part­ments and as much as I have seen a lot of top play­ers emerge in this coun­try, Ralekoti Mokhahlane, Motlelepula Mo­folo and Tlali Maile are the best play­ers I ever worked with.

“They were brave and led by ex­am­ple on the field of play even in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances and ev­ery­one else would come to the party.”

veteran Lefa na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber thabo Pule.

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