Thotanyana says leaving Lioli in good shape

Thotanyana says leaving Lioli in good shape

MASERU -Outgoing Lioli president Lebohang Thotanyana said leaving his post does not mean he is abandoning the club and that he will always be available in an advisory role whenever he is needed.On Monday, Thotanyana announced he will be retiring at the end of the season and that Lioli will have a new president when the 2019/20 campaign begins in September.
He said it is time he stepped aside and allowed other people to take the club forward.
Thotanyana said he believes he has done his part and his run has come to an end.

Thotanyana’s decision to step aside comes at a time when the club is stuck in a difficult season and ‘Tse Nala’ find themselves at risk of missing out on a top four place for the first time since 2012.
Last December, Thotanyana was one of four executives that resigned from their positions at the club due to infighting but all were brought back at an extraordinary conference a month later.
Now he has taken the decision to retire.
Thotanyana, who has been Lioli president since 2008, said he is proud to have witnessed the club enjoy plenty of trophy success under his leadership.
“I am retiring as a president of Lioli but that does not mean I will stop supporting the team, I will always be a supporter,” he told thepost on Tuesday.
“I feel like I played my part, therefore the team should think hard about who will lead them forward after I have left and I believe we will find a suitable competent candidate for the position, someone who will take care of the team from where I left. I will always be available to give advice to the management and team at large.”
Thotanyana has overseen the most successful period in the club’s history.

Lioli have won four of their five league titles since Thotanyana took over with wins in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2016 adding to the club’s maiden championship win in 1985.
Lioli have also won four Independence Cup titles and three Lesotho National Insurance Group (LNIG) Top 8 crowns during Thotanyana’s time as president.
“The biggest moment I will never forget (during my times as president) is the performance of Lioli; it changed and we started winning trophies and that really makes me proud,” Thotanyana said.
“We have had many other successes,” he added.
“I saw our team change financially, now we have just started to have sustainability with help from companies like Alliance Insurance. Up to now, Lioli has a bigger sponsorship at club level than any other club. I am proud of that too.”

Thotanyana said his only regret is leaving without having seen Lioli advance past the preliminary stages of the CAF Champions League.
Lioli came agonisingly close on the three occasions they competed in the continental showpiece under Thotanyana’s tenure losing on away goals to Burundi’s Vital’O in 2016 and by the odd goal to Angola’s Primeiro de Agosto in 2014 and Zimbabwe’s CAPS United in 2017.
“The fact that Lioli competed internationally makes me proud but my only regret is that I am leaving before we are able to make it to the next level,” he said.
Despite those disappointments, Thotanyana insisted he is leaving the club with his head held high knowing he played his part in the club’s growth over the past decade.
He said it is up to the club’s new management to continue the good work.

“The issue of paying players in the country started with Lioli,” Thotanyana said.
“People did not believe me when I said Lioli players will be paid when I became the president but today only a few clubs cannot pay their players in the Premier League. That is the contribution I made not only for Lioli, but football at large in the country. I took part in many of the reforms to football in the country and I am leaving with my head high. I am proud and I am expecting the coming management to do well, too.”

Nkheli Liphoto

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