By Mikia Kalati
The clock is slowly ticking towards the December annual regional youth Cosafa Cup that will this year be held in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
All members associations of the regional governing body have been invited to the tournament and have been given until tomorrow to confirm their participation.
While Cosafa has already started the build-up to the competition, I’m very disappointed that nothing or very little is being done by the football and sports authorities in our country in as far as promoting the tournament.
This has raised eyebrows about the recent rumours doing the rounds that all is not well between the ministry of sports and the Lesotho Football Association.
This is very sad for football and the growth of sport in this country.
We should surely have started preparation for the tournament that has over the years produced some of the best players across the region.
The Cosafa youth tournament might not be as big as the World Cup or the African Cup of Nations, but I feel the tournament should be given the respect it deserves considering that our country hardly ever hosts big sporting events.
The real test for Lesotho is going to come on the field where Moses Maliehe’s team will be at least expected to reach the late stages of the tournament, especially being the host nation.
Unfortunately for Maliehe, his team is yet to begin preparations. Because of the little time he has before the tournament gets underway, there could be limited time for him to try new faces in the team.
I have seen very young and talented players who for me should form part of the Lesotho team that will represent the country in this year’s regional tourney coming to our shores.
But, like any other coach faced with limited time to prepare his team for a tournament, Maliehe could opt for the already tried-and-tested players and turn a blind eye on those without international experience.
Everywhere around the world in the football circles, countries are very serious about developing young talent and helping youngsters live up to their true potential.
This means giving the young lads international exposure by playing them against the best young, talented players from other countries at competitions such as the Cosafa youth tournament.
This is certainly a chance for Lesotho to give exposure to a young crop of players that could be part of the next generation to toe the line for Likuena.
As has become the norm, international scouts have made such tournaments their hunting ground, I expect many to come to Lesotho during the December youth tourney.
Therefore, the tournament will be a good platform for our youngsters to once again show the scouts the talent that we have in this country.
In any competition, teams always utilise the home ground advantage and our team should have long been prepared for this tournament so as to try and win it at home.
But once again, those in administration have proved that they are not interested in the development of football, especially with the Lefa elections looming.