By Moorosi Tsiane
MASERU — The national football has reaped the rewards of a relatively decent campaign in the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers by avoiding the preliminaries of the 2015 African Nations Cup.
The development, announced by the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) president Salemane Phafane at a press briefing this week, means Likuena, as the national team is affectionately known, would enter the competition at the qualifying stages.
Phafane said: “We are proud to announce that this time around, our team will not start from the preliminary stage like it used to in the past. Likuena will begin from the qualifying rounds due to their good performance in the previous qualifiers (where they finished third ahead of Sudan in the four-team group also comprising eventual winners Ghana and Zambia).”
The draw for the qualifiers takes place on April 24 in South Africa following the conclusion of the preliminary round, which commences on April 12.
However, Likuena could go to the qualifiers without a permanent coach as Lefa is still searching for a suitable replacement for Leslie Notši, who quit early this year to join South African National First Division Side, United FC.
Phafane said the coaching job goes with “a lot of responsibilities”, hence the continued search for the right man for the post.
“We don’t want to make a hasty decision as this is a very important job with a lot of responsibilities. We don’t want to make a decision that will leave us regretting our choice; this is why we are taking our
time to fill this very important post.”
With Likuena currently under the caretaker-watch of acting technical director Seephephe Mahao and Halemakale Mahlaha, Phafane said the pair could lead the team into the qualifiers should it be necessary.
“If need be, we will go to the matches with these gentlemen at the helm because the coaching job comes with a lot of responsibilities, so we want to make the right choice when appointing the
Phafane also said the search for a technical director is still on as the association has decided to deploy Matete to another post.
Meanwhile, Lefa also used Tuesday’s press briefing to announce that Lesotho had been awarded a bus as part of the legacy of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, held in South Africa.
“Fifa, in consultation with the South African Football Association, agreed to hand over a bus to Lefa as part of the 2010 World Cup legacy. That bus is already in the country, but we are still in negotiations with the Lesotho Revenue Authority because Fifa has ordered us that the bus does not have to pay tax otherwise they will take it back,” Phafane said.