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Wounded Matlama off to Cameroon



MASERU – A wounded Matlama will jet off for Cameroon today for the second leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary stage qualifier against Coton Sport de Garoua on Sunday.

The match will be played at the Stade Roumdé Adjia in Garoua and Lesotho’s champions go into the game with a mountain to climb after a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of the Cameroonians in the first leg that was played last Saturday at the Free State Stadium in South Africa.

Although the teams were more or less on level par when the teams met, ‘Tse Putsoa’ were taught a harsh lesson in being clinical in front of goals by Coton Sport who ruthlessly took their chances.

Matlama, on the other hand, were left ruing missed opportunities as they discovered first hand that there is no place for naivety when facing Africa’s top teams.

Now ‘Tse Putsoa’ will head to Cameroon needing to score at least three goals to have any chance of progressing to the next round.

Despite the odds being stacked against them, Matlama coach Molebatsi Mothobi remained upbeat ‘Tse Putsoa’ can pull off a miraculous upset.

Speaking to thepost before the team’s departure, Mothobi said ‘Tse Putsoa’ did their analysis on Coton Sport prior to the sides’ first leg and their analysis was spot on.

He said although Matlama were wasteful in their home encounter, he is confident that goals will come for the Lesotho champions in the return game.

“In the first half we had two good chances that we couldn’t convert, I thought our performance was okay and they were fortunate to score their chances,” he said.

Mothobi does have a point.

Matlama were not necessarily bad or outplayed and many felt they did not deserve to lose. However, it is the visitors who created more chances and forced Matlama goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane into making saves and, in football, you get what you deserve.

Mothobi reckons Matlama need to approach Sunday’s game with the same commitment but without frustration. There were moments in last Saturday’s first leg where Matlama appeared frustrated at the chances they were missing as they perhaps wondered where their goals would come from.

“The players are calm (going into the second leg), just as they were during the game. We were looking at going into halftime level and we conceded just before the whistle. It was shocking but I think the goals will come,” Mothobi said.

Because Mothobi does not hold a CAF A-Licence coaching badge, Matlama are being led in the CAF Champions League by former Likuena coach Seephephe Matete who has the certificate.

As part of CAF’s club licencing regulations, head coaches of clubs competing in the CAF Champions League are required to have CAF A or Pro licenses.

Mothobi is registered as Matlama’s assistant coach for the competition.

Tlalane Phahla

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Four badminton players jets to SA



Four local badminton players will leave the country on Sunday for the All Africa Senior Championships 2023 to be held in Benoni, South Africa.

All countries in Africa are expected to attend the tournament.

Lesotho will be represented by two males, Neo Rahlolo and Tebello Selemela and two females Khahliso Khetheng and Refiloe Moeletsi.

The national squad head coach, Nyakallo Seboka, told thepost that he is aiming for the quarter finals, but said his players did not have thorough preparation due to distance.

Two athletes are based in Maseru, while the other two are in Maputsoe.

The main challenge is that they should have practiced together because there will be doubles and mixed doubles competition and it is not easy to compete as a team players had not trained together.

The four players qualified last year in Maputsoe during the qualifying tournament and considered the best among their peers.

“It’s a big tournament because all the countries are taking all their number ones,” Seboka said.

“We have not had great preparation because our athletes live in different places and it has been difficult to get them together to train,” he said.

“They need to have trained together because we are going to have individuals and team events, mixed doubles as well. However, if we could make it to the quarter finals I would be happy.”

They will know when they arrive in Benoni who they have been paired with.

Seboka said they wished they could have left the country earlier so that the players can rest but they have had challenges with funding.

Tlalane Phahla

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Likuena’s international matches woes continue



LIKUENA’S uncomfortable hosting of their international matches in South Africa will not come to an end any time soon.

This is because Lesotho’s only national stadium, which was the only CAF-approved facility about three years ago, remains unapproved after CAF found it seriously wanting.

CAF made recommendations on what needs to be fixed then, and the government has been making promises but little has come out of them.

Two weeks ago the government, through the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC), wrote to Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) telling them that the state of the national stadium has not changed.
The letter was a response after the association’s enquiry for an update on the status of the ground.
The association had been told that there was no money for the renovations.

“The status of Setsoto Stadium has not changed. That is all the concerns raised by CAF have not yet been attended to,” the LSRC told LEFA.

The developments required by CAF include massive renovation, re-grassing, installing modern floodlights and a standby generator.

This update from the government is also bad news to the Premier League teams as the winner of the league will not be enrolled in the CAF Champions League unless the stadium is put back to required standards.

Last year in November, LEFA announced that quit CAF’s continental club competitions until further notice.
Bantu are currently leading the table with three points ahead of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF).
Should any of them win they would not enjoy the benefits of competing internationally.

When suspending Lesotho’s participation in continental club competitions, LEFA cited high costs of hosting games in South Africa because of the Setsoto’s unavailability.

Likuena will host Zambia in Dobsonville Stadium in March in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Tlalane Phahla

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LEFA responds to Chief Theko’s attacks



MASERU-THE Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) has reacted angrily and furiously to Thaba-Bosiu Principal Chief Khoabane Theko’s baseless and malicious attack.

At the funeral of the late Seepheephe Matete last weekend, the outspoken Chief is said to have attacked the association’s president, advocate Salemane Phafane, and secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi.

The association issued a statement on Wednesday, expressing their disgust at the chief’s remarks.

The association said it was saddening to hear Chief Theko abuse and misuse the platform he was given at the funeral to mislead and deceive the nation on administrative matters about which he had no knowledge of.

Instead of using the platform to honour the late football legend, Chief Theko saw it as an opportunity to make ill-conceived and misguided accusations against the association’s leadership.

“Firstly, Chief Khoabane claimed that building of stadia in the country is the responsibility of the association. The Chief who knows nothing about football administration would have known, if he had done his homework that football associations do not construct stadiums.” The statement said.

“This is the responsibility of the government and municipalities. The Chief has been part of the Governments of Lesotho, and should have [played] his part to ensure that stadia are built in Lesotho instead of sitting on his laurels and continuing to draw government salaries which he continues to date.” It continued.

LEFA says Chief Theko exposed his naivety when he claimed Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena is the only facility that the association has built. LEFA has to date built three technical centres that are ready and already being used to host Premier League matches.

One centre at Bambatha is nearing full completion, the other two in Mohale’s Hoek and Maputsoe are fully functional. The artificial turf at Setsoto stadium was installed by the assoccition, they are also in the process of building similar centres in Thaba- Tseka, Quthing, Berea and Ha Mabote.

“The leadership of football in the country wishes to refresh Chief Khoabane’s failing memory that it was only in November 2019, when current FIFA president Gianni Infantino and his delegation visited the Mountain Kingdom, as opposed to his misinformed claims that the FIFA president last visited Lesotho during Sepp Blatter’s tenure in office.” It said.

“It does not come as a surprise that Chief Khoabane was openly and publicly denounced by another Chief at the same funeral. Something is self-inflicted as a result of Chief Khoabane’s playing to the gallery which has turned him into a laughing stock.” It continued.

The association urged the Chief to familiarise himself with football matters, and also to refrain hijacking other people’s funerals as a platform for his misinformation as the leadership of football will take him on if he wishes.

Tlalane Phahla

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