Makhetha deserves to be shortlisted

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Mikia Kalati

THE omission of Lioli coach, Motebang Makhetha from the list of Econet Premier League awards nominees for the month of October sent tongues wagging among the football fraternity during the past week.

I was also surprised that Makhetha failed to make the list based on how well Lioli has done since he took over the reins from Halemakale Mahlaha.

The list included James Madidilane of Bantu, Mosito ‘Careca’ Matela (Matlama) and Motheo Mohapi (LDF).

Makhetha led Lioli to four straight victories and none of the coaches shortlisted achieved similar results.

I am aware that the Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) has come with a panel of judges to oversee the nominations of the players and the coaches but my worry is that the panel was not given enough resources and time to fully focus on the job.

This would explain the mistakes which include the omission of Makhetha who could have won because his team was the most successful in league matches during that period.

I think the panel should also include journalists and coaches that are not attached to any premier league teams to bring in the necessary technical expertise.

They should also be given the necessary resources that will enable them to watch all teams in action every week in order to do their job properly.

The first awards for the month of September were won by the Bantu duo of Madidilane (Coach of the Month) and midfielder, Lindokuhle Phungulwa (Player of the month) after A Matšo Matebele won their four successive opening matches of the current season.

For the sake of accountability and credibility I hope the PLMC will assist the panel with all the resources they need in order to ensure that we do not see horrible mistakes like the omission of Makhetha when his team was the most in-form side in the league.

There are a few other issues that have attracted a lot of negativity including allegations of match fixing and my advice to the PLMC is that they need to get their house in order to protect the brand that they have built over the last three years.

Our league body has done well by negotiating with sponsors to improve their packages and the return of Econet Lesotho as the league sponsors this season has also come with a lot of positives for football in our country.

So I urge all the stakeholders of the beautiful game to be careful not to drag us backwards.

I have realised some of these things have created a bitter war of words on social media platforms between the Bantu and Lioli supporters.

In the same way, I urge the fans to appreciate that our league is bigger than their teams and they should act in a manner that protects the image of the game and that of the sponsors.

Those in know will agree with me that we have had companies pulling out from sponsoring football activities because they were unhappy with the negativity within the football fraternity.

We were all happy that Econet has come up with these good incentives that will go a long way in taking our football to higher levels and this calls for all of us to act responsibly to ensure we protect this sponsorship.

In an unrelated development, I congratulate the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) for securing scholarships for six local athletes as part of the preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

I am even more impressed by the fact that the Olympic association will be taking Mosito Lehata and Lerato Sechele to countries where they are likely to return to their best.

The two were based in Mauritius and Senegal in the previous scholarship and their standards dropped drastically.

It is very significant and most welcome that this time around Lehata will be under the mentorship of Ans Botha who helped the South African, Wade Van Niekerk to be the world 400 metres champion.

I hope that Lehata can finally live up to the potential he showed a few years ago though I feel that age is no longer at his side at 27 years old.

 

 

 

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