Likuena in a fix

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MASERU — Lesotho’s national football team is struggling to get opponents for the next FIFA friendly international date.

However the national side, nicknamed Likuena, has already started camp even though they do not know whether they will play a match or not.

Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) technical director Seephephe Matete said they were hoping to get Ghana, Tanzania or Malawi to play Likuena next month.

Likuena coach Zavisa Milosavljevic is desperate for action as he bids to turn around the fortunes of the national team.

Lesotho’s last friendly match was this month’s goal-less draw against Botswana in Maseru.

LEFA hopes another match will materialise for next month’s FIFA-designated date for friendly internationals.

“The match is scheduled for the last weekend of May,” Matete said.

“(But) we are not certain which team will confirm our proposal for the FIFA friendly international.”

It appears Lesotho’s major problem in attracting opponents has been Likuena’s poor performance on the international arena.

Likuena, ranked number 163 in the world and 45 in Africa, lost all their qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup and African Nations Cup.

Lesotho last tasted victory with a 1-0 win over the Comoros on July 24 last year during the regional COSAFA Challenge Cup in South Africa.

Before that, Likuena had not known victory since beating Mozambique 3-2 in another friendly on May 21.

Yet Matete believes, instead, Lesotho’s poor performance is a result of failing to get enough friendly matches.

“Our main problem is the lack of friendly internationals,” he told the Lesotho Times.

“We cannot measure our performance with one match in six months.”

Matete said LEFA wanted to have Likuena playing at least one match every month as part of the national team’s long-term development plan.

“The team must play one match per month but it takes us six months to secure a match for Likuena,” he said.

Meanwhile, LEFA will hold a two-day seminar for all football stakeholders across the country.

The seminar starts tomorrow at Bambatha Tsíta Sports Arena in Maseru.

Participants will be drawn from football administrators, teachers, coaches, referees, the business community and the media.

The main purpose of the seminar is to brief participants about the local football governing body’s three-year plan.

Participants will also be given an opportunity to scrutinise the plan and make their own suggestions.

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