Former Likuena defender faults LeFA


: LeFA President Salemane Phafane is under pressure to steer the ship

Points at complications should football league resume


MASERU – Former national football senior squad, Likuena, defender, Rethabile Nkoe, finds nothing wrong in the currently suspended league being halted and leaders, Bantu FC, crowned champions – but points to a myriad problems when it comes to relegation and promotion in the lower leagues. Nkoe says there has to be clear justification for relegations down to the lower divisions and promotions to the higher leagues.

Nkoe, who is currently the assistant coach for the A Division side ACE Maseru, argues ending the 2019/20 football season to give clubs enough time to prepare for the new season (2020/2021) expected to begin in August or September this year remains the only prudent decision for the football association at the moment. He observed the current COVID-19 situation in the country is likely to impact on “whatever plans” there may be regarding the resumption of Lesotho’s top-flight football as well as the general sporting activity in the country. The Econet Premier League (EPL) and all lower division leagues were suspended indefinitely in March this year as the country went on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“LeFA (Lesotho Football Association) should not have suspended the league as the time of suspension (in March) the country had not even recorded a single confirmed case of the Coronavirus,” Nkoe said in an interview with Public Eye on Monday this week. “They should have continued with the league under strict measures such as restricting or entirely banning fans at games, playing at selected closed grounds in order to wrap up the league,” he said. Nkoe further reiterated: “Our games could have been finished by now. But because we compared ourselves with other countries with professional football leagues we failed to make a decision that suited our situation at the time.”

As a result, Nkoe said, if a decision reached could be for the league to resume now regardless of the new COVID-19 cases which the country has just recorded, a big question will be asked…why now? “But again if the league was to be abolished and current log leaders Bantu are given the champions crown with a 16 points gap between them and Matlama on second position on the 14-team EPL log table, that would similarly cause problems when it comes to relegation and promotion of teams from the lower A and B Divisions,” he continued. “I don’t have a problem seeing Bantu crowned champions, but my worry will be on the justification of any step relating to relegations and promotions.

So I am saying if such a decision is to be reached, then a lot of thinking has to be done to accommodate and be fair to all teams if Bantu is given the mantle.” Nkoe, who has played for Matlama, Linare and FC Likhopo, said this decision should be reached as soon as possible for the clubs to know what they should do from now onwards and to plan accordingly. “As things stand at the moment one sees a football association that doesn’t know what to do…they seem clueless!” Lesotho’s top-flight league remains with eight matches on average to wrap up the suspended season.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *