Professionalising sport is the answer
ELSEWHERE in this publication we report on a Bantu player who is likely to miss action due to work commitments simply because our football is still at an amateur level where one cannot depend on to survive.
Tšebang Lebata, the top goal scorer for the 2013/14 season is likely to miss the first two months of the season due to work commitments.
The midfielder-cum-striker did not link up with the team in the pre-season ahead of their next weekend clash with Sefotha-fotha at Setsoto Stadium.
“I am still with them (Bantu) but currently I am out due to work commitments in nuthing while the team trains in Maseru, so it’s not possible to join them for training,” Lebata said.
I find this very frustrating and very embarrassing that while those in charge of our football have been singing the song of professionalising football for the past six years, we remain stuck in the same position.
There are few of the teams who are really making an effort to give their players monthly allowances and while I applaud them for that, they are not offering enough to sustain the players.
It is not the first time a footballer has been forced to give up the sport.
Towards the end of 2015/16 season some teams struggled as some players skipped training after finding temporary jobs during the Population and Housing Census exercise. One such player who comes to mind is Liphakoe Striker Neo Skhosana.
I don’t blame the players because ultimately they need to fend for their families and if the clubs are not giving them enough then they will have no choice but to go out and look for other jobs leaving football as the second choice.
The reason we lack commitment and dedication from our players because their focus is on their better paying jobs then football come as a second love.
Most of the players have their eight hour jobs from Monday to Friday and only attend training sessions after knocking off. To expect them to give one hundred percent effort under such conditions is surely asking for too much after long hours at their work places.
Football has changed and what worked in the past is no longer working. The sooner those in positions of responsibility appreciate this, the better it will be. Our government should also play their part in ensuring companies invest in sport because nothing can be achieved without money.
Sport needs to be professionalised which enable, players to get enough time to train and rest without worrying about where the next meal or where their children’s school fees will come from.
It is only then that we can hope to compete on the continent and in the world.
It will be easier for coaches to do their work, for management to run teams and for clubs to attract sponsorship and increase their following.