SOCIAL was abuzz last weekend after the football community learnt that the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) did not register the girls’ under-17 side for the upcoming Africa Union Sport Council (AUSC) Games.
The games will be held in Maseru from 3 to 12 December 2021.
LeFA secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, last week explained that the reason for which the team was not enrolled was its lack of readiness.
As much as I understand LeFA’s position, I also think they should not have waited until this late to make the announcement.
The delay has led to the suspicion that the reasons cited by the association are just scapegoats. Instead, suspicion is rife that the real reason for the decision is the sexual abuse rumours that circulated earlier this month. At the time, it was rumoured that some players in camp had been sexually abused.
However, LeFA maintains that the team is not ready.
Only LeFA knows why the team only managed one camp but it probably was the correct decision not to enroll the team, otherwise the side would have been embarrassed.
Compared to its other counter parts in the region, Lesotho’s preparations are way behind in terms of girls’ soccer and enrolling an ill-prepared team would only disrupt the rebuilding exercise.
However, this is not the first time that we have handled preparations for events. In fact, this is our default operating mode. This is how we handle any other issue and that must change.
Some have argued that participating in competitions is the only way for the team to prepare.
But having watched our local women’s league, there is a long way to go. The fact that there has never been women junior’s competitions makes things worse. Our senior national team was thumped by Zambia (8-0) and Malawi (9-0) in last year’s edition of the COSAFA tournament.
But again, I also believe LeFA could have been upfront and announced this earlier.
The only good takeaway from the whole issue is that the team is now preparing for the next edition of the AUSC Games in Malawi next year. My hope is that there will be no bungling otherwise we will continue going in circles.