Phafane hails growth of women’s football

Phafane hails growth of women’s football

MASERU- Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) president Salemane Phafane on Friday praised the growth of women’s football in the country.
Phafane was speaking at the Women’s Super League awards which were held at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena to honour the best performers from the 2017 season.

The fledgling league also used the occasion to mark its third anniversary and, in the three years since its 2015 inauguration, women’s football has steadily improved. Next month the national side, Mehalalitoe, will face Swaziland in the first round of the 2018 Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Phafane said the progress of women’s football can be seen in Mehalalitoe’s improved performances which saw the team beat Namibia 2-1 at the COSAFA Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe to record their first win at the regional tournament last year.
“Football is not only meant for men but women as well,” Phafane beamed.

“Our national (women’s) team is lately known by other countries for its victories which is a sign of growth and improvement as we used to be at the bottom of the pack but lately we have been elevating from that position,” he continued. The big winners on the night were Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies who won the 2017 Women’s Super League title to claim their first league crown and join 2016 winners Setoko and 2015 champions Likhosatsana in the winners’ circle.

LDF midfielder Ntšabeng Pelea received the evening’s main award as she walked away with the player of the season accolade. Pelea was crucial to LDF’s title success with her 11 goals helping her side dominate the league from start to finish.  Her award went with M1 400 in prize money and a trophy.

Pelea was not the only LDF player rewarded for their fine work. Kholu Lebakeng bagged the top goal-scorer award with 17 goals and went home with M1 000 for her efforts while Thuto Moifo claimed the goalkeeper of the season honour.

Phafane appealed to the Ministry of Sport to meet LEFA halfway in financing the league because it does not have a sponsor.
“I want to congratulate all the women as this sport is the most incident free,” Phafane said. “But our teams in this league need financial support and we urge our ministry to at least meet us halfway so that our dreams can come true.”

Award winners:
Player of the Season: Ntšabeng Pelea (M1 400)

Goalkeeper of the Season: Thuto Moifo (M1 000)

Top Goalscorer: Kholu Lebakeng (M1 000)

Coach of the Season: Lehloenya Nkhasi (M1 000)

Referee of the Season: ‘Mathabo Kolokoane (M1 000)

Assistant Referee of the Season: Poloko Maapara (M1 000)

Best Improved Team: Berea Ladies (M500)

Nkheli Liphoto

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