Sends warning to coaches, threatens sacking
MASERU – Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) president, Advocate Salemane Phafane (KC), is fuming and has cautioned national football teams’ coaches to up the game.
Phafane has told senior national team coach, Thabo Senong and his Makoanyane XI (Under-20) counterpart, Bafokeng Mohapi, that they will face serious consequences if they fail to put up a decent showing in the upcoming Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) tournaments.
Phafane told a press briefing on Tuesday that Senong has been given a mandate to take the team to at least the COSAFA semi-finals while Mohapi has been given a target to ensure that his team dominates this year’s edition of the COSAFA Under-20 tournament.
Likuena will take part in the COSAFA Cup set for July 3 to 18 in Durban, South Africa, while the Under-20 team will compete in the COSAFA Under-20 Championship scheduled for December in the Kingdom of eSwatini.
“Our Under-20 team used to dominate the COSAFA Under-20 championship but this has changed in the past three years. We cannot tolerate this as the National Executive Committee (NEC), our Under-20 team should reinstate its glory days.
“The senior national team Likuena has not performed well in the past AFCON qualifiers matches. I blame the poor performance 50 percent to COVID-19. We gave the team everything they needed with regards to preparing the team for such games. They had all the resources, during the safe training bubble, we even went extra-mile to offer them things they never had access to during the previous camps,” he commented.
He further added that the NEC provided Likuena with all the resources they needed to play the friendly matches of their choice. “I cannot overlook the fact that the coaches did not have freedom to play friendly games with other nations due to COVID-19 resurgence but they had a thorough preparation ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (AFCON) qualifiers matches,” he noted.
“Senong has been with us for long now. Coach Senong upon his arrival shaped the team to the extent that people believed that Likuena has a bright future with him. We also realized when his team was halted by COVID-19.
The virus was not in Lesotho only; it was there in other countries even though it affected us differently. This time around, we need results, we no longer want to see poor performing Likuena,” Phafane said. He further mentioned that LeFA will give the team everything they will need to win COSAFA cup and will support the coaches to play as many friendly games as they wish.
“The team must be ready for July because July holds bad consequences for some people. If these coaches fail to reach the set targets, they would have to do a simple thing, resign, failing which, the NEC will direct that the Secretary General write them dismissal letters,” he strongly pointed.