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Lefa needs new blood (sports opinion)

by Lesotho Times
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salemane phafaneMikia Kalati

The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) is heading to the presidential elections on October 26 where the current president, Salemane Phafane, will battle it out with the Premier league chairman, Lebohang Thotanyana, who is also one of his vice presidents within the football governing body.

People have had different opinions regarding the Lefa presidency but I feel that the association could do better under a new leadership.

Personally, I would go for one of the retired former players who has been there and suffered in this game during his playing days.

I have always said that I see our own Kalusha Bwalya in Tšepo Hlojeng who, unfortunately at the moment, has put his focus on a career in coaching.

There is also Molefe Makhele who has proved his leadership qualities over and over again. It is sad that the duo has no interest in football politics and would rather focus on the technical side of the game.

The results are there for all to see that King Kalu has transformed football in his country and Zambia have since won the Africa Cup of nations under his leadership. He was a great captain in his heydays and a role model for those coming after him.

I have seen similar leadership qualities in the former Likuena captain, Hlojeng, who is a humble man who remains very passionate about the game he serves so well.

I think many will agree with me that it’s high time that we have new men in charge of our football.

I feel Phafane has for too long let this country down by protecting many incompetent people who are within the structures of our football.

I mean, in December last year an assessment of the technical department from Fifa through Govinden Thondoo advised Lefa to let go of its technical director, Seephephe “Mochini” Matete because the job was bigger than him.

The report indicated that since his appointment in 2006 until now no clear football development strategy has been established and there is no database, no evaluation and analysis of needs and no annual report.

Worse, the report revealed the technical director is not computer literate hence it presents a big handicap for him to perform properly in his responsibilities of planning, coach education and administering a database.

And how the Lefa president has ignored this crucial report leaves a lot to be desired about his leadership. Such inadequacy in a leader will surely retard our progress in football.

We need a leader who is honest and hires people on merit.

As a respected lawyer, Phafane was the man seen by many as the Messiah who would sanitise our football after replacing the late Thabo Makakole.

I mean, we all know that last time the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC), through their CEO, wrote to Lefa to report the irregularity on the use of the Likuena project which was being handled by the two associations.

This was after LSRC found that there were some invoices/receipts that were having questionable figures and some invoices/receipts that were reportedly not genuine.

This led to Lefa forming a task team to investigate the reported irregularities.

But to this day no one has been held accountable and the leadership has remained tight-lipped about it.

Like they say football has become such a dirty game.

Then there is the Mokhotlong issue that has left a lot of damage in that district as far as football is concerned.

And of course there are match fixing reports that continue to haunt our football but no one has ever bothered to take any action against these allegations.

The association has on more than one occasion admitted that they had been in contact with convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.

Countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa have already taken action against match fixing.

Like they say there is no smoke without fire.

The fact that for the second successive season the A Division leagues are still without sponsorship says a lot about our football leadership that cannot be trusted because of their lack of transparency and accountability.

The less said about the shambolic travel arrangements to Ghana that saw Likuena arriving in Kumasi less than four hours before the match and subsequently losing 7-0 to the West African country, the better.

A lot of people have been in comfort zones at our national football association for far too long and it’s high time they face the music for messing up our football.


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