. . . as Kaizer Chiefs also shows interest in the striker
MASERU – Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) FC and national team, Likuena striker, Katleho Makateng, is set to join DStv Premiership rookies, Richards Bay. LDF FC’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Dony Ntakha, confirmed to Public Eye that Makateng was likely to join the South African KwaZulu-Natal-based side. Ntakha also confirmed that South African football giants, Kaizer Chiefs, have also shown interested in securing Makateng’s signature.
According to Ntakha, talks between the LDF FC management and Richards Bay were at an advanced stage. “Both Richards Bay and Chiefs had shown an interest in signing Makateng,” said Ntakha in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday this week. “But as we talk now, negotiations between LDF FC management and Richards Bay are at an advanced stage.” Ntakha said management at Kaizer Chiefs had just expressed interest in the player while Richards Bay went beyond that and made a contractual offer.
“Yes, there is a communication between us and Chiefs, but they are yet to make an offer while Richards Bay’s offer is on the table as we speak, and we met yesterday (on Tuesday this week) to talk about their (Richards Bay) offer.” However, Ntakha said that did not mean they would turn Chiefs’ offer down just because their talks with Richards Bay were at an advanced stage. “But that does not mean Chiefs’ offer would not be considered at the end of the day.” Ntakha further said: “Because it may be that Chiefs will be make an offer even this afternoon.”
LDF FC management, Ntakha said, would have to endorse Makateng’s decision at the end of the day. “As the (team’s) committee, we will have to endorse the player’s decision and talk to the army commander since Makateng is currently a soldier.” Sources close to LDF FC said Makateng wanted to join Richards Bay since he said they had already made an offer while Chiefs were, up to the point of this interview, not making any offer except showing an interest.
But the sources also said LDF FC management was hoping that Chiefs would make an offer as soon as possible so that they would be able to convince Makateng to change his decision to join Richards Bay over the Soweto giants. Ntakha also said they would be pleased if Makateng joins a big team like Chiefs, but said it would also be important for the player to join a team that will give him game time than to sit on the bench or watch his teammates playing from the terraces.
“We will be very happy if Makateng could join a big team like Chiefs but what is also important is for the player to join a team that will give him the opportunity to play rather than just warming the benches without playing at all. But at the end of the day, he is the one to make that decision.”
Ntakha added that: “Like I said we sat yesterday, we even asked him to decide, and we will endorse his decision.” Richards Bay and Kaizer Chiefs’ interest in Makateng follows the Lesotho striker impressive play at the just-ended Council of South African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup in South Africa. Makateng was instrumental in Likuena’s two goals as the Lesotho team beat Malawi 2-1 in the two teams’ opening fixture of the COSAFA tournament in Durban, South Africa.
The Lesotho striker contributed to Likuena’s first goal which forced one of Malawi’s defenders to score an own goal in the dying minutes of the first half before Makateng could score another goal for Likuena in the second half. Makateng, apart from that, was recognized as the Man of the Match in a game against Malawi and in another 2-1 win over Mauritius, respectively.
But Likuena failed to proceed beyond the group stages after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of eSwatini. Makateng was also helpful in Likuena’s progression to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations group stages as he scored a brace when Lesotho knocked out Seychelles in the preliminary stage of the qualifiers. Likuena beat Seychelles 3-1 home after a goalless draw in the first leg away. Makateng became top-goal scorer with 20 goals in his first season in Lesotho’s top-flight league. Makateng also won the Player of the Season Award, Players Player of the Season Award, the Young Player of the Season Award.