Likuena gets greenlight to start AFCON preps


Moorosi Tsiane

THE senior national team has been given the green light to begin its Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers preparations by the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC).

Likuena has two must win matches against Sierra Leone and Nigeria next month if the team is to qualify for the biennial continental showpiece in Cameroon next February.

Thabo Senong’s charges are anchoring Group L with two points from four matches after drawing twice against Benin and Sierra Leone. The side has lost to Nigeria and Benin.

The team will play Sierra Leone at home before travelling to Nigeria.

Last month, LeFA suspended all footballing activities on the back of a spike of Covid-19 cases.

The government later declared a national lockdown suspending all sporting activities.

According to Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi, NACOSEC met with cabinet on Monday and tabled LeFA’s proposal for commencement of preparations. The proposal was approved.

“LeFA presented the proposal for the commencement of Likuena’s training in a safe and controlled bubble,” Mohapi said on Tuesday.

“I was part of a virtual meeting with NACOSEC, the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sport and Recreation and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) representatives.

“NACOSEC met with cabinet on Monday and the proposal (for commencement of preparations) was been approved. The team is likely to start it’s preparations tomorrow (Wednesday).”

Meanwhile, Mohapi said NACOSEC ruled that it was still unsafe for local competitions to resume.

“We presented and defended the request. NACOSEC made it abundantly clear that at this stage, it was just too risky to allow local competitions to resume because we are at 29 percent infection rate,” he said.

Mohapi said NACOSEC argued that it does not believe that local teams have similar resources to those at LeFA’s disposal to prevent the spread of the virus.

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