Heartbreak for Makoanyane XI
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has confirmed that the Confederation of African (Caf) has disqualified the national Under-20 team, Makoanyane XI from the African youth championship qualifier after failing to honour their last Saturday’s match against Nigeria.
Lefa secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, confirmed to the Lesotho Times on Monday that a letter from Caf indicated that Makoanyane XI have been eliminated from the competition with Nigeria qualifying for the next year finals.
“Indeed, we have received communication informing us that with have been eliminated from the competition and I’m yet to know whether we will protest as yet,” Mohapi said.
“I’m yet to meet with my principles to discuss this matter in details.”
Lefa last week announced that the team will no longer honour their fixture against Nigeria due to the Ebola outbreak that had continue to kill people in West Africa including Nigeria.
Mohapi said no other sanctions have yet been taken against their team, but the letter indicates that the organising committee will decide if any other sanctions are applicable.
Meanwhile, Mokoanyane XI coach, said his players were very disappointed with the decision as they had hope that Caf will postpone the match.
“It’s a big blow to these players who were looking forward to battling Nigeria for a place in next year championship in Senegal,” Maliehe said.
“We are all very disappointed, but there is nothing we can do and have to accept the decision.”
“If you look at it, it been hard work all the way to get to the third round and losing without playing is very painful,” he said.
Maliehe said this could be the end of this group as most of them are almost 20 years old and could not long feature in the youth side.
“It’s not clear whether the regional COSAFA under-20 tournament will take place this year due to lack of funds and it looks like the end of the road for some of the players,” said Maliehe.
He said they will have to build a new team from the scratch.
Makoanyane XI, as the national under-20 team is affectionately known, eliminated Swaziland and Angola to reach the third round of the competition.