Maliehe hangs on

Maliehe hangs on

Luciah Phahla

MaseruThe Lesotho national coach position remains in limbo with the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) yet to make a decision on whether to appoint caretaker boss Moses Maliehe on a permanent basis.

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

The Likuena post has come under further scrutiny after last Sunday’s shambolic 6-0 defeat to Algeria in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

Lesotho has not had a permanent coach since Leslie Notši left the post in late 2013 and the uncertainty has seen the team’s world ranking dip from 105th in August 2014 to 146th in the latest ratings.

However, the situation doesn’t appear likely to change soon.

Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, LEFA public relations officer Thabo Maretlane said the association is yet to review Maliehe’s contract and the targets he was asked to achieve in order to get the post on a permanent basis.

Maliehe was tasked with reaching the last four of the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup which was held in Namibia in June. Likuena were knocked out in the quarterfinals by South Africa on penalties.

Maretlane, however, said Likuena represented the country well in Namibia and LEFA is happy with their COSAFA Cup performance.

He added that last week’s 6-0 thumping at the hands of Algeria does not factor in LEFA’s evaluation of Maliehe and his charges.

“(Maliehe) is still interim coach and we will review his contract and the targets that he was given to achieve,” Maretlane told thepost yesterday.

“We are happy with the team’s performance; remember they represented us well in the COSAFA Games in Namibia. We can’t really talk about Algeria game, there was nothing he could do,” he added.

In an interview with thepost in March this year, LEFA secretary general Mohapi Mokhosi said even if Lesotho did not reach the semi-finals of the regional COSAFA Cup in Namibia, the team’s overall performance would be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

At the COSAFA Cup, Lesotho won all three of its group stage games and topped its group with nine points.

Maliehe’s predecessor, Matete, held onto 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 but, after a string of poor results, he was sacked in October last year.

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