Matlama coach Moses Maliehe can only take over the national team after next weekend’s Independence Cup tournament, the Lesotho Times can reveal.
Maliehe was appointed national team interim coach after the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) fired Seephephe Matete from the post following Sunday’s drawn African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Zimbabwe at Setsoto stadium.
The draw saw Lesotho crashing out of the CHAN tournament after losing the first leg 1-3 in Zimbabwe, while Likuena also failed to beat the Comoros in the 2018 Fifa World Cup preliminary qualifier early this month.
LeFA had set Matete a target of making it to the CHAN tournament set for Rwanda in January next year, and beating the Comoros but after failing to achieve both, he was shown the door by LeFA.
However, impeccable sources told the Lesotho Times that Maliehe would not be assuming his new post until after the 7-8 November Independence Cup tournament. Matlama face archrivals Lioli in the semifinal of the annual competition scheduled for Setsoto Stadium.
According to the sources, Maliehe wants to give Matlama management time to find his replacement before taking up the national team post. Maliehe was appointed Matlama coach at the start of this season. He would not comment on the matter when the Lesotho Times contacted him on Tuesday.
However, LeFA public relations officer, Thabo Maretlane, told the Lesotho Times Maliehe had been earmarked for the Likuena position.
“We made a decision on Sunday after parting ways with Ntate Matete, to appoint national under-20 team coach Moses Maliehe as new Likuena coach. Everything will be finalised before the end of this week.”
Meanwhile, LeFA released a statement this week that Matete’s support staff—team manager Khiba Mohoanyane, assistant coach Halemakale Mahlaha and goalkeepers’ coach, Matsoai Shokhoe—had also been relieved of their duties.
Read the statement: “You will recall that Likuena’s technical and management team had a mandate, and this mandate has not been attained.
“As a result, the National Executive Committee of the Lesotho Football Association has released the technical team from their engagement with the national team with effect from 25 October.
“The leadership of LeFA wishes to thank the gentleman who had made huge personal sacrifices to steer Likuena through its endeavors and wish them well in their next commitments.”
Likuena are only in action in March next year when they resume their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.