Ku­dos to LeFA on Me­ha­lal­i­toe

Sunday Express - - SPORTS -

LE­SOTHO’S women’s na­tional foot­ball team failed to sparkle on their return to the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion and duly ex­ited the Council of South­ern African Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (COSAFA) Cup after win­ning only one group match against Namibia.

Hosts Zimbabwe play South Africa in the fi­nal this after­noon.

Me­ha­lal­i­toe lost by iden­ti­cal 0-3 mar­gins to South Africa and Botswana in Group C.

I think ev­ery­one knew that they would not win the tour­na­ment and I was not sur­prised by the re­sults.

That said, I want to give credit to the Le­sotho Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (LeFA) for their courage in send­ing the team to test them­selves against their re­gional coun­ter­parts.

It has been three sea­sons since the launch of Le­sotho’s Women Su­per League and I am adamant that if given the same kind of sup­port as their male coun­ter­parts, Me­ha­lal­i­toe will soon match their coun­ter­parts in the re­gion.

Dur­ing the team’s send-off cer­e­mony LeFA Pres­i­dent, Sale­mane Phafane, said he pushed for the league to be re­launched after a bit­ter feud be­tween the then Women Foot­ball League Com­mit­tee and LeFA’s Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee that saw women’s foot­ball com­ing to a stand­still.

Now that Phafane has re­tained the LeFA pres­i­dency, I hope he will also push for talent scout­ing and devel­op­ment pro­grammes in the ru­ral ar­eas to in­crease the pool of play­ers. I am not say­ing peo­ple should ap­plaud medi­ocrity and cel­e­brate the dis­mal fail­ure of our team but this was re­ally a good ini­tia­tive from LeFA to send Me­ha­lal­i­toe to Zimbabwe.

How­ever, our fo­cus must now turn to the devel­op­ment side of the sport be­fore chas­ing in­ter­na­tional glory.

I have al­ways said that un­til we have play­ers who are groomed from the grass­roots, it will al­ways be a waste of time and re­sources to com­pete in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions as our teams will never win any­thing but just make up the num­bers.

I know there are peo­ple who hold dif­fer­ent views on Me­ha­lal­i­toe’s per­for­mance in Zimbabwe and while we all want our team to win when­ever it com­petes, win­ning is not some­thing that just hap­pens by chance or luck.

It is all about hard work and ded­i­ca­tion from all stake­hold­ers not just the play­ers.

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