LONG serving Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) national executive committee member, Thabo Pule will step down after 30 years of service in soccer administration.
The 70-year old Pule this week told the Lesotho Times he would not seek re-election at next month’s executive committee elections to choose a new six member committee. Pule has been with LeFA for 24 years.
At stake are the positions of first vice-president (currently held by Khiba Mohoanyane), second vice-president (left vacant after Lebohang Thotanyana’s resignation in 2014), public relations officer (currently held by Thabo Maretlane) as well as three membership positions currently held by Rantsubise Matete, Motlokoa Mafantiri and the retiring Pule.
The position of president will be contested next year.
Pule said he felt he had done his part and it was time he made way for young blood.
“I am quitting all my positions except for match commissioner for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the football governing body FIFA until 2018,” he said.
“I will not seek re-election at LeFA and the district of Berea where I was president.”
Pule stressed he remained committed to football and would give advice when called upon to do so.
“Football remains my addiction, so I will always be available to assist where I am needed. I gave the same message to those that I worked with in Berea where I was president.”
The veteran administrator said it had been better before the association became an independent body because its activities had been bankrolled by government and did not experience financial constraints as they did now.
“However, the game has grown because there are a lot of cup competitions locally while our national teams also have a chance to compete in more international tournaments such as the COSAFA Cup, Africa Cup of Nations and the World Cup,” said Pule.
“I would also say the first few years after the formation of LeFA were more successful as we played the final of the COSAFA Cup where we lost to Zimbabwe.”
The Berea-born administrator said his best years were 2003 and 2004 when he was the team manager of the under-17 team.
“As an administrator, you are always happy when you are part of a successful project and at that time, I was manager of the under-17 team that graduated to the under-20 a few years later and qualified for the African Youth Championship in Benin in 2005,” Pule said.
“This group was blessed with talent and depth in all departments and as much as I have seen a lot of top players emerge in this country, Ralekoti Mokhahlane, Motlelepula Mofolo and Tlali Maile are the best players I ever worked with.
“They were brave and led by example on the field of play even in difficult circumstances and everyone else would come to the party.”