“Pass Cosafa Test and Get Likuena Job”

“Pass Cosafa Test and Get Likuena Job”

 

Luciah Phahla

MASERU

Moses Maliehe will be Lesotho’s next permanent coach if he reaches the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup in May.

The declaration was made by Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) general secretary Mokhosi Mohapi in an interview with thepost on Monday.

Maliehe was appointed as Likuena interim boss last November to replace Seephephe Matete who was sacked after being the national team’s caretaker coach for almost two years.

And, addressing a question on the continued employment of temporary coaches, Mokhosi said Maliehe will be given the Likuena job permanently if he achieves a mandate of reaching the COSAFA Cup last four.

“If he passes his test, which is to reach the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup, he will be made a permanent coach (of Lesotho),” Mohapi said.

Mohapi’s comments are LeFA’s first clarity on the Lesotho job since Leslie Notši left the post in March 2014.

Maliehe would appear to have a difficult task if he is indeed to become Likuena’s next boss.

Lesotho reached the COSAFA Cup semi-finals under Notši in 2013 and that was the team’s best performance since Likuena made it to the final in 2000.

However, Mokhosi said even if Lesotho does not reach the semi-finals of the regional championships set for Namibia, the team’s overall performance will be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

Maliehe’s first task in charge is two 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Seychelles over the next seven days. Likuena are away in Seychelles on Saturday before hosting the island nation next Tuesday.

Maliehe’s predecessor, Matete, held on to the position of interim coach for 19 months after he was appointed in March 2014. He was hired to guide Lesotho through the 2015 AFCON qualifiers and, after a string of poor results, he was sacked in October last year.

Asked why he held the interim position for such a long time, Mohapi said Matete had also been given a mandate of qualifying for the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) and reaching the semis of the 2015 COSAFA Cup.

Lesotho fell at the last hurdle in the CHAN qualifiers losing to Zimbabwe last October and was knocked out in the group stage of the COSAFA Cup last May.

Speaking earlier this year, LeFA president Salemane Phafane said the association had delayed Matete’s sacking in the hope results would improve.

Mohapi said: “Matete also had his own tests that he needed to pass before he could be appointed as the permanent coach of the national team.”

Mohapi also did not rule out hiring a foreign coach.

Lesotho’s last foreign coach was Serbian Zavisa Milosavljevic who coached the team from 2008 to 2010.

Mohapi said the association did not have a preference when it comes to Likuena’s next coach. Whether the coach is local or foreign, they will be expected to bring results, he said.

“I am not xenophobic at all, whether it’s a local coach or foreign (it doesn’t matter) as long as he performs and brings positive results,” Mohapi explained.

 

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