Windfall for Likuena

Windfall for Likuena

MASERU – It was payday for Lesotho’s senior national team, Likuena, yesterday at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena as the team received money for the Fair Play Award it won at the COSAFA Castle Cup last year in South Africa.
The prize sum of M88 000 came straight from COSAFA and the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) distributed the money to Likuena’s players and the technical team.

In 2016, Likuena had a wonderful outing at the COSAFA tournament when it was held in Windhoek, Namibia.
Lesotho won all its three group stage matches beating Mauritius, Angola and Malawi to top Group B before progressing to meet neighbours South Africa in the quarterfinals.

Although Moses Maliehe’s side lost on penalties they were given the tournament’s Fair Play Award.
Thanks to that performance in 2016, in 2017 Likuena were given a bye to start the tournament in the quarter-finals where they beat Namibia before falling to eventual champions Zimbabwe in the semi-finals.

“I think in these COSAFA games they have engraved Lesotho when it comes to Fair Play,” said LEFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi.
“We saw last week we were here with the Under 20 and they had their own Fair Play award, and we today we are here again talking about Likuena and fair play, in 2016 we were talking about Likuena and fair play,” he continued.

“It shows now that we are becoming the kings of fair play, this shows that our style of play is attractive to the people that watch us from the technical view point, not from the critical point of what LEFA is doing but for those who do not have an interest in sports politics back home (and) are able to give a fair judgement that this team plays fair football, the most disciplined football, as compared to those other countries, and we are proud of that.
The Fair Play award carried a monetary prize that the board of LEFA decided that the team that was at the COSAFA should share,” Mohapi said.

Speaking on behalf of the team, captain Mafa Moremoholo said it all comes from the technical team and their discipline starting back home. He said coach Maliehe keeps encouraging them to work hard and have discipline.

“It starts here at home from training and the way we prepare ourselves, our coaches are always encouraging us to work hard and have discipline. The support we get from LEFA also helps us,” Moremoholo said.

“That’s why our football is growing, the support we get back home from our parents too, there are lots of talented people out there who are not playing football because of a lack of support,” he said.

“I want to say thank you to the coach, the way we do things is different to other countries in terms of discipline, he has treated like his own kids, he wants us to be respectable people who respect other people, you can tackle someone by mistake while playing and he taught us to apologise when that happens by offering your hand to help,” he said.

Mokhosi also confirmed Maliehe will remain Likuena coach and is preparing a team that will take on Cape Verde in September in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Luciah Phahla

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