Women’s boss wants football return

Women’s boss wants football return

MASERU-The new president of the Lesotho Women’s Football Executive Committee, Baholo Motene, is pleading with government to allow the return of football.

Motene was elected in July and she says the local game is suffering because of its current stoppage with the women’s game especially in grave danger of long-term side effects.
Several lovers of the women’s game, for example, have lamented that women are at greater risk of getting out of shape the longer they are not playing because their bodies change quicker than their male counterparts.
However, it remains anyone’s guess when football will return.

Contact sports are still prohibited and players are not allowed to train in groups, all they can do is train on their own which many players have revealed is difficult.
Football has been halted since March because of COVID-19 and although the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) is working on ways to facilitate its return, last month LEFA president Advocate Salemane Phafane insisted it “will cost a lot of money to bring football back.”

Phafane said LEFA is still studying its regional counterparts and formulating plans because football returning doesn’t just mean the top-flight Econet Premier League, contingencies also have to be made for the safe return of the lower leagues and Women’s Super League (WSL).

Motene, a former Lesotho international defender and stalwart for Lesotho Defence Force Women, said the status quo is affecting her attempts to settle into office.
“We have been elected for some time now but we have not been able to get to work because of the current coronavirus situation in the country.
“However, at the moment the clubs are busy with the club licensing and also there is an issue of prize monies from last season that is still being resolved,” Motene said.

“We want to grow women’s football (and) help players develop; we want our league to be active and, if it is, that will help our national team as well,” she added.
A former WSL secretary, Motene defeated and replaced former Women’s Football president Puseletso Mokhosi in July’s executive elections and she will be in charge of the women’s game for the next four years.
Her new committee has many issues to tackle.

For one, the WSL remains without any sponsors and is fully funded by the Lesotho Football Association. Women’s football in Lesotho also struggles for facilities and coverage.

However, despite the challenges, Motene said she has big aspirations for women’s football and wants to see it grow under her leadership.
Motene said it is important to get more women, including former players like herself, involved in programmes and enrolled in courses so they can play a role in the growth of the women’s game.

Motene said the plan during her four years in office is to get more women involved in different areas of football, whether it is refereeing, coaching or even as administrators.

“Football has always been the men’s game, that is why there are not many women in the game, but FIFA has worked hard to get more women involved and slowly it is now becoming different. More women (are) in administration and getting involved,” she said.

Tlalane Phahla

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