Coaches blamed for appalling football standards

MASERU — Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) technical director Seephephe Matete says local coaches should take the flak for the poor standard of the game in the country.

Matete, a Confederation of African Football (CAF) coaching instructor, says qualified local coaches either lack commitment or are totally not interested in the domestic game.

He told the Lesotho Times this week that half the coaches trained in Lefa-organised courses were not practising as coaches.

Matete said most of them shunned the domestic game which is played at amateur level with no pay for players and coaches.

“The challenge currently faced by local football is that most coaches do not apply the skills and knowledge they acquire from coaching courses,” he said.

“They just come for these courses to get certificates, not to work hard to improve and develop our football.”

Matete said Lesotho’s football standards should have improved over the years considering the number of locals who undergo training in Lefa’s coaching programmes.

Lefa earlier this year disbanded the national team, Likuena, saying they were not good enough for international competition.

Likuena were not entered in the qualifying draw for the 2010 African nations Cup draw because, according to Lefa, of their incompetence as well as lack of finance.

Lesotho are number 40 in Africa and 129 in the world, according to the latest Fifa rankings.

“The difference could have been far much better if the coaches were on the ground and applying their skills, knowledge and experience,” Matete said.

“Coaches are like football pillars and they have to work hard to develop football in our country.”

LCS coach Mafa Ramakau said local coaches should offer their services to the local game free of charge since they were not paying to attend Lefa’s coaching courses.

“I don’t like the issue of some coaches demanding salaries for coaching because the association does not have that kind of money to pay them,” Ramakau said.

“The most important and pressing issue is to develop football in the country and other things like salaries will come later.”

Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha, however, said the problems hampering the development of local football were not just about coaching.

“We are unable to develop football in the country because coaches, managements and players don’t have the commitment and passion that is needed to develop our football,” Mahlaha said.

“Sometimes we spend the whole week building players’ fitness only to find them drinking beer of Fridays.

“These things in general contribute greatly to our poor standard of football.”

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