Fresh ideas sorely needed at LeFA

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Mikia Kalati

LESOTHO experienced the familiar feeling of humiliation after the national under-20 side Makoanyane XI was walloped 0-8 by their South African counterparts in the opening fixture of the regional COSAFA Cup.

The loss was made even more galling by the fact we suffered another humiliation at the hands of the same opponents a few months back.

Although the boys subsequently redeemed themselves with victories over Botswana and Swaziland, it remains a sore point that Makoanyane XI cannot make it past the first round phase of the tournament.

Generally, there are a lot of things that don’t go down well with me as far as our national teams are concerned.

All was not well in the Makoanyane XI camp before their departure to the regional tourney and this could have contributed to the South African debacle.

There were rumours of a bonus row between the association and the players as well as other disturbing matters which could have negatively affected the morale of the players.

The same issues plagued the senior Likuena side two months ago on the eve of their match against Algeria in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. We suffered an equally embarrassing 0-6 thumping at the hands of the Desert Foxes.

Strikes have become popular with our national teams and one would have expected that by now the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) would have come up with measures to address issues beforehand.

Back in 2012, Likuena players were stuck at OR Tambo Airport in South Africa for two days due to visa problems and ended up losing 1-7 to Ghana having arrived in Kumasi less than six hours before kick-off.

Ahead of the trip to the West African country, the team was also rocked by an allowance row which led to midfielder Motlalepula Mofolo being booted out of the team.

There have been many more cases that have rocked the national team over the last 10 years hence my feeling that change is desperately needed at our football governing body.

Even now, problems abound to the extent that some senior players are now turning down national team call-ups, clearly indicating something is not right in the way LeFA conducts its affairs.

This is why I feel Ntate Salemane Phafane and his executive committee members who have served more than two terms should step aside and allow new faces the chance to bring in fresh ideas.

After all, these are supposed to be voluntary roles and it does not make sense for one person to hold on for 15 years especially when our national teams continue to be the “whipping boys” of African football.

Likuena reached the final of the COSAFA Cup in 2000 and the team’s failure to repeat the feat suggests a serious decline in our standards.

It also does not look like the team will qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations any time soon.

And it is not just LeFA but all the sports associations need a breath of fresh air.

The Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) also needs new leadership in order to end our culture of showing up at the Olympics just to add to the numbers.

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