Why can’t Likuena play friendly matches?

Lesotho Times
4 Min Read
LIKUENA striker Tšepo Lekhooana, right, tussles for the ball with Bafana Bafana defender, Thabo Nthethe in a friendly tie played at Setsoto Stadium last year.


likuena Mikia Kalati

MOST national teams were busy during the weekend with 2018 World Cup qualifiers across the globe and for those that have been eliminated, it was all about friendly matches.

But as usual, there was nothing for our beloved Likuena who were inactive. This is certainly a very worrying development given that our national team has always struggled and even failed to qualify for major international competitions.

It is a mystery why the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) hardly ever succeeds in organising friendly matches for our national team.

Countries like Kenya who were not involved in the qualifiers still managed to play friendly games days before the World Cup qualifying matches to keep their team busy and improve their rankings.

So, one would have thought that LeFA would have also organised a match with a team that was not busy with the qualifiers since there were plenty of them.

In our own southern African region, countries like Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and even Angola were not involved in the qualifiers and any one of them would have made a good opponent for Likuena.

Even Botswana and Swaziland who have played a lot of friendly matches with us were also not involved in the qualifiers.

All those countries from the COSAFA region are ranked above Likuena hence beating any of them in an international friendly game would have done us good.

The same could be said of east African countries like Kenya and Tanzania who are both ranked higher than Likuena.

The failure to organise friendly matches has gone on for far too long and calls for action from stakeholders appear to be falling on deaf ears.

This is just one of the many things in our football that needs serious attention, but it looks like there is no interest from the association.

Our neighbours South Africa even got a friendly against Ghana just a few days after the two teams played important qualifiers.

My worry is that unless this changes, then nothing will ever change as far as our national team is concerned.

We will always be the whipping boys of the continent if our team only plays when it is the Africa Cup of Nations, World Cup qualifiers or the COSAFA Cup tournament.

I do not remember LeFA coming out to say they are too broke to get Likuena friendly matches so it is difficult to understand why this is happening unless if our administrators have no interest in seeing our team improve.

Surely the LeFA executive committee members have contacts everywhere as they always attend Confederation of African Football (CAF) congresses as was the case three weeks ago where the president, his first vice president and the secretary general all travelled to Cairo, Egypt.

Negotiating with their colleagues from other associations should not be a problem at all.

LeFA has let down the football fraternity down for too long and it is killing any potential we have as a country to grow as far as football is concerned.

We all know that our players have been struggling at the biggest stage and playing friendly matches regularly is the only way that they can improve as a team because there is no pressure like when they are playing qualifiers.

This could be also a good chance for them to attract scouts as there is a serious need to have our players in better leagues outside the country and make a better living too.

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