Lesotho referees flunk fitness test

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 MASERU — Lesotho’s referees are struggling for fitness.

This is according to results that came out at Setsoto Stadium on Sunday.

At least 19 out of 35 referees who underwent a fitness test conducted by the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) failed.

The dismal pass rate suggests all is not well with Lesotho’s referees.

Lefa technical director Seephephe Matete slammed the poor pass rate.

“Out of the 35 only 16 referees passed the test,” Matete told the Lesotho Times.

“These are very poor results given that Fifa complained of our deteriorating standards the last time they came here.”

He said Lefa would use the results from Sunday’s test as a basis for assigning referees responsibilities to handle Premier League and A Division matches.

“Based on these results, the referee’s committee will assign referees to officiate at both premier league and A Division matches depending on individual performance last Sunday,” he said.

Matete blamed the referees’ poor performance on lack of training in their respective districts.

“Generally, the problem is that they do not have a day or two to train and work on their fitness and (study the) laws of the game at district level,” Matete said.

“We’ve now appointed two of our veteran referees Paul Khiba and Tseliso Mosehle to oversee the training in Leribe and the southern region respectively,” he said.

Matete said the association was working on ensuring that every district had a fitness trainer in the coming few months.

“The purpose is to identify people at each district to ensure that referees train at least once or twice a week and discuss the laws of the games after every match,” Matete said.

“I am positive that the next fitness test (in April) will be much better if these strategies are implemented and followed,” he said.

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