MASERU – Lioli Football Club has fired head coach Halemakale Mahlaha and his assistant Tseliso Thite for poor results.
The two were fired during a national executive committee meeting held at Maseru Club on Monday.
Thabile Seeka has been put in temporary charge of the team until the end of the season in June.
Lioli public relations officer Moeketsi Pitso confirmed the developments in an interview with the Lesotho Times yesterday.
He however sought to downplay the development saying they “had only parted ways with the coach”.
“Lets us not use the word ‘fired’ but we have parted ways with both coaches,” Pitso said.
“The decision to part ways with both coaches was taken on Monday.”
Pitso said Tse Nala decided to wield the axe on the duo after receiving complaints from supporters.
“We tried very hard to find the cause of our poor performance and for several times we failed to put a finger on it.
“The supporters’ committees however said the coaches were the source of our poor performance.
“Because of this, they wanted us to stop working with both coaches and look for an alternative candidate who could help Lioli regain its form,” Pitso said.
Contacted for comment Mahlaha insisted he had not been fired from his post saying he had asked to be excused due to poor results.
“It is not true that Lioli have fired me. I am the one who asked to be excused,” Mahlaha said.
Mahlaha said it was difficult for him to produce results because he had encountered serious resistance from senior players.
“There were senior players who did not want to work with me because they did not want to be disciplined,” Mahlaha said.
“These players influenced some supporters to lobby for my dismissal. The truth of the matter is that those senior players are people who do not want to be disciplined.”
He added: “I had to leave because I was no longer safe given what was going on in the team.”
Mahlaha said his problems started when he tried to bring in younger players into the team.
“Since I arrived, I was aware that Lioli did not have fresh and young players to sustain the team for a long time.
“I introduced the process of bringing young and fresh players into the team so that Lioli would not have to buy players every season,” Mahlaha said.
“But some of the senior players resisted this process because they saw that their days were numbered.”
Seeka, who has taken over the coaching reins, is a virtual unknown in Lesotho’s coaching circles.
But Pitso said Seeka was still the right candidate for the Lioli coaching
job because of his relationship with players.
“Thabile Seeka is now in charge of the team until the season ends in May/June,” Pitso said.
“He has been involved with the Lioli technical team and is the right person because he knows Lioli’s style of play.”
Mahlaha joined the Teyateyaneng giants in the 2008/9 season as technical adviser. He then took over as head coach last September.
Mahlaha replaced then head coach Mosholi “Shoes” Mokhothu who left to join the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS).
Tse Nala have endured terrible loss of form in the last three months.
They lie a lowly 10th on the 14-team Vodacom Premier League log with a measly 15 points, 12 points adrift of leaders LCS.
They have played 13 matches winning a paltry four in the process.