Football authorities’ score own goals

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Mikia Kalati

Makoanyane XI played two away friendly games against Swaziland at the weekend with the national under-20 side drawing the first match 1-1 draw and the second ending 3-1 in favour of the Swazis.

However, it appeared not many people were aware of these fixtures, which form part of the team’s preparations for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Under-20 tournament whose get underway in June this year.

The fact that the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) did not make the country aware of these games was like scoring an own goal.

You cannot afford to keep such a development secret and also the fact that recently appointed Makoanyane XI coach, Motlalepula Majoro, had selected his squad.

My worry about how LeFA operates is they have a tendency not to communicate important information to the public especially regarding our national teams.

I have always maintained the association needs to hire professionals in their marketing and communications department to ensure things are done the right way and meet modern systems of running a football organisation.

Gone are those days when football was just for entertainment and this is something that needs to change in the way the game is run in our country. We need to catch up with the rest of the world and it should begin with having proper communication skills to let the people know about what is happening.

Our association needs to know they must hold a press conference every time any of their national team coaches announces a squad for any game or competition.

This should have been the case last week when national team coach, Moses Maliehe, announced his side that is going to play back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon)matches against the Seychelles later this month.

This was the first time that Maliehe was announcing his squad for a competitive match and as such, was a big occasion for both the coach and players. Such an occasion should have been given more respect by LeFA organizing a press briefing for Maliehe to announce his squad and then field questions on his selection.

Maliehe has called up many new players, and discarded some veterans who were being used by former coach, Seephephe Matete.

The public deserves to know what is happening as far as the national teams is concerned, while publicizing such developments also help market the sides to the business community.

One of the issues sponsors consider when deciding where to put their money is the mileage they would get from associating themselves with an activity.

Sneaking the national sides out of the country is not exactly what a sponsor of that team would be happy about because this simply means their brand is not getting exposure to a very critical public.

The same goes for the premier league management that decided to keep quiet about their trip to Botswana at the weekend.

This was a really noble tour which showed real desire to learn from other countries.

There is no doubt the Botswana premier league has been on the rise and enjoys better sponsorship than our own, so there is really something we can learn from there.

But the fact that the trip was not made public means the football authorities missed an opportunity to include other stakeholders who could have helped make the trip even more fruitful.

The other issue that the premier league decided to keep to themselves is that of LDF veteran right back-come-winger, Janefeke Molibeli, who has been suspended for the remainder of the season after he was involved in a brawl with a Matlama supporter during the recent LNIG Top8 matches.

What I am trying to say here is failure to communicate properly can also hurt what your organizations are trying to achieve in taking the game to another level.

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