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Big coup for Mohale’s Hoek



MOHALE’S HOEK – Until last week, Mohale’s Hoek was one of four districts alongside Qacha’s Nek, Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka that was without a premiership team and was starved of top-flight football. That drought was set to continue another year after Majantja finished 5th in the A-Division south stream last season.

However, in life things can change in the blink of an eye and when the 2022/23 season begins in a few months’ time, Mohale’s Hoek will not only have a Vodacom Premiership side, but a new first division club as well.

In the Vodacom Premier League, it will be Majantja, the former Lesotho champions who are back in the elite league after buying Kick4Life’s premiership status last week, while All Aces will play in the first division for the first time.

It is a big coup for Mohale’s Hoek which has missed top-flight football since 2019 when Majantja were relegated from the premier league – a far cry from the heydays when Majantja won the league title in 1995 and played in Africa.

The man Mohale’s Hoek has to thank for bringing the fun back to the district is local businessman Cloete Mdlokovana who financed Majantja’s deal to purchase Kick4Life’s Vodacom Premier League status.
In total, Mdlokovana forked out M180 000 and paved the way for All Aces to take their place in the First Division as well.

The transport tycoon has also secured a home venue for both teams with the clubs set to share the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground which will host matches for the first time since it was renovated by the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) last year and had a new artificial turf installed.

That is more good news for Mohale’s Hoek because there had been talk that fellow Vodacom Premier League clubs, Bantu of Mafeteng and Liphakoe of Quthing, would use the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground next season.
Mdlokovana said those rumblings are one of the main reasons why he rummaged through his pockets.

“I saw a beautiful ground; I am a jealous person, in business and also for growth. When somebody does something, do it as well. When I heard Liphakoe and Bantu were going to use (the Mohale’s Hoek DIFA Ground) as their home ground, I wondered about whether Majantja were going to curtain raise for them? That would be an embarrassment for as long as we are still alive, but I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

With so much good already done by Mdlokovana, the next step is to fix Majantja’s management and how the club is run. For starters, Majantja must sort out the management committee because the term of the current committee which negotiated the acquiring of the club’s premiership place has ended.

It is unclear how the club’s structure will be, but Mdlokovana said that although he may not be active in the running of the club, he will likely appoint people to run the club.

“I am a serious person. Majantja, you have been nonsensical for a long time. Majantja is for Mohale’s Hoek,”Mdlokovana said.

“I didn’t play football but I will not watch my money go down the drain, bring your knowledge, let’s sit down and run the team. There must be control. I am busy. I will just put people I trust to run the club.”

Majantja’s lack of stability was brought up during their negotiations with Kick4Life who were concerned about selling their coveted premiership status to a team that may get relegated or be engulfed in internal squabbles.

Kick4Life were adamant Majantja must go back and reorganise themselves and their leadership. Majantja’s secretary general, Katiso Mohlalisi, said this is their chance to do things right.

He narrated their problems which include a constitution that was drawn up in a hurry to meet LEFA’s club licensing requirements but reflects a society or stokvel more than a football club.

“When we were signing the sale agreement it should have had Kick4Life and Majantja’s logos with their colours, but when Majantja’s logo was placed it wasn’t clear. That was one of the things they said we must correct,” Mohlalisi stated that as an example of Majantja’s current unprofessionalism.

“Let’s reform the club, let’s start by taking membership,” Mohlalisi added.

“We are governed by society’s constitution right now; I want to ask: how many societies do you know that never fight at the end of the year? There are many. We are far behind in terms of administration.”

All Aces president Lethusang Ntšekalle addressed the issues facing the district’s football growth and how Mohale’s Hoek has been overtaken by other districts. While he could not stop thanking Mdlokovana, Ntšekalle said ignorance and arrogance have seen Mohale’s Hoek linger behind others.

He said it is only through a real love for football that the district can catch up and once again compete for silverware.

“I am worried that football in Mohale’s Hoek does not grow. We have been to the (promotion) playoffs and lost. I don’t know what the problem is but I think the main problem is that we do not have love for football. We can’t go forward if we do not love football,” Ntšekalle said.

“It is only in this district that football isn’t growing. Is it because we don’t know how to run football? I think it is (because of) arrogance. We cannot let our sponsors down because we may never get an opportunity like this again.”

Tlalane Phahla

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Rabale eyes Champions League glory



Lesotho women’s team captain Boitumelo Rabale has her eyes on winning her second CAF Women’s Champions League with Mamelodi Sundowns as the tournament gets underway this weekend.
The third edition of the prestigious women’s club football is scheduled for Ivory Coast from November 5-19, where eight clubs will battle it out to be crowned Queens of the continent.

“Queen”, as the Lesotho star is commonly known, was part of the Sundowns squad that was crowned champions of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in Egypt two years ago, becoming the first player from the Mountain Kingdom to taste Champions League success.
She has become one of the key players in Jerry Tshabalala’s squad having walked away with the Hollywoodbets Player of the Season in the previous campaign and currently leads the goal-scoring charts with 21 goals.

“It was exciting to win the CAF Women’s Champions League with Sundowns two years ago and in the process becoming the first player from Lesotho to do so,” Rabale said.

“I felt very lucky and honoured to make history. It gave me confidence to continue working hard and strive for more success with the club”
Sundowns head to the tournament as regional champions after clinching the COSAFA qualifiers to qualify for the continental showpiece, where they will kickstart their campaign against Tanzania’s JKT Queens on Sunday.

Rabale admitted that memories of losing the last final to AS FAR still haunts them, but they head to Ivory Coast a better team than in the last tournament.

“We learnt the hard way when we lost in the final to AS FAR and we come back a better team having rectified our mistakes.

“It’s our dream to conquer the continent again and I have no doubt that we have what it takes to get our second star in Ivory Coast.

“It will be very good to add the second CAF Champions League medal to my trophy cabinet,” she said.

The 27-year-old has been prolific for Sundowns this campaign having scored nine goals in her last five matches to take her tally for this campaign to 21 goals.
Sundowns are in Group A alongside tournament hosts, Athletico Abidjan, Sporting Casablanca of Morocco, as well as Tanzania’s JKT Queen.

Since joining Sundowns in 2021, Rabale has won the Hollywoodbets Super League twice, the COSAFA Zonal qualifiers twice as well as the CAF Women’s Champions League and is the reigning Hollywoodbets Player of the season.

Tlalane Phahla

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Red Skins fail to raise funds for championship



Lesotho volleyball giants Red Skins have failed to raise funds for the 2023 Zone 6 Senior Indoor Volleyball Club Championship they are set to host in December.

Red Skins will host the competition together with four other local volleyball clubs – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), Lesotho Mounted Police Station (LMPS) and Rivers – and the tournament is expected to start on December 7 and end 10 days later.

Without any funds or sponsors coming in, Red Skins will have to foot the bill from their pockets for the tournament which will see teams from 10 countries converge on Maseru.

Among the participating nations, Botswana is expected to bring the biggest contingent with 12 teams, with Zambia following closely behind with nine teams while Zimbabwe is set to be represented by six teams.

Two weeks ago, Red Skins participated in the Elite Cup in Gauteng, South Africa, which was hosted by Aqua Darshan Volleyball.
Red Skins hoped to win the tournament and return home with a hefty jackpot but they only collected M5 000 which was won by the men’s team.

A gala dinner that Red Skins hosted last weekend also failed to generate income due to low attendance and speaking to thepost on Tuesday, the club’s vice-captain, Moleboheng Mofolo, said they will have to push on with what they have to host the tournament.
Mofolo said they no longer have time to come up with other means to raise funds.

“Tournaments will require us to find sponsorships and we do not have time now, we have to focus and train well,” Mofolo said.

“Our coach already told us to camp from this week but rain is our biggest challenge because we cannot continue with the training,” she added.

Mofolo said Red Skins are fortunate that participating teams are going to take care of their accommodation and catering. She said if Red Skins had to provide those services, they would not have been able to manage.

She pleaded with individuals, organisations and companies to help the team, whether it is by offering accommodation, food, or whatever little they may have.

Tlalane Phahla

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Giants avoid each other in Top 4 clash



Women Super League (WSL) giants Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies and Kick4Life Ladies have avoided each other in the WSL Top 4 knockout competition.
The two-day showpiece takes centre stage this weekend at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena and it will see last season’s top four finishers in the league – LDF, Kick4Life, Lijabatho and Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) Ladies – go head-to-head for bragging rights.

The draw for the competition took place last Friday and the semi-finals will see LDF go up against Lijabatho while Kick4Life will take on LMPS Ladies.
Both semi-finals will be played on Saturday with the tournament culminating the following day.

Sunday’s proceedings will kick-off with a third-place playoff game to determine who walks away with the bronze medals before the final later in the day.
All four games over the two days will be streamed on the FIFA+ website and the WSL Top 4 will usher in a new sponsor this year.

In the past, the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) fully bankrolled the competition, however, Computer Business Solutions (CBS) has come on board with a sponsorship for the first time.

The competition’s prize monies have not been revealed because they are still being finalised, but, speaking at last Friday’s draw, LEFA’s associations secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said the relationship with CBS is one that sport should engage in.
Mohapi added his hopes that the relationship will be a long-term one.

“While others are busy at their thing, we should really grow ours so that when their distraction finally ends, they find us as united as we can be as the football community,” Mohapi said.
“(We should be) united by the efforts and inputs that emanate from the business community, especially when it is a truly Lesotho business entity because other (foreign entities) are here to take money,” he said.

Addressing CBS as the tournament’s sponsor, Mohapi said: “We are thankful as LEFA for your initiative; (we) hope you will be in this marriage quite long. We know we are just testing the waters but we have a lot that can entice you to stay longer, not only my command but the instruments that we have.”

Mohapi said LEFA’s dream is that in two years’ time all league matches will be streaming on the FIFA+ platform which was launched last April by football’s world governing body to increase exposure of men and women’s football around the globe.

Currently, only three grounds in the country have the structures for broadcasting; Bambatha as well as the grounds at LDF and Lesotho Correctional Service grounds, and all are in Maseru.
LEFA plans to add more grounds to the list with the DIFA facilities in Maputsoe and Mohale’s Hoek set to be the first to follow suit.

“All our women’s competitions, cup competitions and (Vodacom) Premier League matches that will be played in those stadia that have our infrastructure – we will be able to stream those games internationally,” Mohapi said.

“We have extended our footprint,” he added.

“We are now doing LDF – we have already put up the structure – then we are moving to Maputsoe and, hopefully, Mohale’s Hoek. It is our desire that in two years’ time we will hopefully cover all the matches and put them on the FIFA+ streaming platform.”

WSL Top 4 fixtures:
Saturday (Bambatha)
Lijabatho Ladies vs. LDF Ladies
LMPS Ladies vs. Kick4Life Ladies

Tlalane Phahla

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