A busy sporting weekend (Sports Opinion)

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tampa-2By Mikia Kalati

We are heading towards an interesting and eventful weekend as far as sports is concerned, not only in this country but across the globe.

The world is waiting with great anticipation for the El Classico match which pits together two of the greatest teams in Barcelona and Real Madrid while in South Africa the countdown has already started towards Saturday’s Soweto derby that sees Kaizer Chiefs and Orland Pirates renew their rivalry that has continued to make headlines for decades.

Here in the Mountain Kingdom it is the Lioli-Matlama clash set for Setsoto Stadium on Saturday. This juicy clash brings the country to a standstill.

Well, Tse Nala, as Lioli is affectionately known, are the defending champions and the team to beat in the league. Since the season started almost three months ago, Lioli is among the teams yet to lose.

Surely the Mosholu “Shoes” Mokhothu side boasting a talented and expensive squad after a massive spending spree during the pre-season will head into this match as hot favourites, but history has taught me that there can never be favourites leading to such kind of matches.

The Sea Point team on the other side have seen a lot of improvement under the caretaker coaches in Sello Seholoholo and Lehlohonolo Mokhele despite a mediocre performance that saw them lose 2-0 to Bantu last Sunday.

My analysis on their last performance is that Tse Putsoa needs an experienced goalkeeper if they want to challenge for silverware with the likes of Lioli and Bantu.

As much as it is good for youngsters such as their goalkeeper, Thabiso Lichaba, to be playing week-in and week-out, the stage was too big for him in the loss to Bantu and he could struggle again when they take on a Lioli side enjoying a good run of form.

Off the pitch, there is an interesting battle in two of the biggest sporting associations in the country.

Firstly, Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) president, Salemane Phafane, is under the spotlight this Saturday as he goes head-to-head with his vice president, Lebohang Thotanyana for the Lefa presidency.

The presidential election has been marred by controversy and has since seen Thotanyana lodge a protest as he feels the credibility of the planned elections has already been dented by what could be described as vote buying.

I said it last week on this column and I will say it again. Our football is in a serious crisis of leadership.

We need honest leaders who are passionate about the game and of course who hire people on merit especially those in critical positions that can help improve the standards of football in our country.

We also need a leader who will see the need for Likuena to play friendly matches during the Fifa dates as it happens with other organised national teams.

Our football needs a leader who will not protect his colleagues when they steal funds from the association to fill their pockets while players continue to suffer.

A leader who will stand up to curb corruption in the game we love so much.

Secondly, the Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) president, Mokebe Maketela’s leadership will also be put to the test as former Lesotho gold medal winner at Kuala Lumpur, Thabiso Moqhali, Kenneth Hlasa and Pati Mareka are among candidates hoping to overthrow him from the LAAA top position.

The Athletics association has been unsettled by infighting over the past few years and we hope that whoever gets to win the race to lead the body will see the need to put the house in order as soon as possible.

 

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