Worrying news coming out of Lioli camp

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MikiaMikia Kalati

Lioli failed to register a win for the third successive league match after playing to a goalless draw against struggling Kick4Life at Setsoto Stadium last Saturday.

Such a poor run is unusual for Tse Nala, who have been the country’s most consistent and successful team over the past two years.

The last time Mosholu ‘Shoes’ Mokhothu’s charges won a league match was on 3 October when they beat Mphatlalatsane 2-0 at Setsoto.

In fact, Lioli had gone on a 26-match unbeaten streak before losing to Bantu four weeks ago at Setsoto Stadium.

Of course, this will be a worry for both the coach and management as the team is now entering an even more difficult phase, in which they would be representing Lesotho in the 2016 African Champions League tournament.

Lioli have already failed to defend their Independence Cup title, which they lost to bitter rivals Bantu a fortnight ago.

But what should be worrying for the team and indeed their supporters, is the fact that they are now even struggling to beat minnows such as Kick4Life.

I have since established that all is not well in the Lioli camp hence the lack of results, but for a team blessed with so much quality, the poor run should really be cause for concern for the relevant stakeholders.

The team’s management will have to step in very quickly to resolve whatever issues have suddenly made this once-awesome machine very ordinary.

What I know is there will always be egos in a team oozing with such talent, with some of the big-name players certainly not happy to settle for a place on the bench or even in the stands come match-day.

I have personally spoken with some of the players regarding what’s happening in their camp and what emerged was a frightening tale of divisions in the squad.

My biggest worry is Tse Nala could be humiliated when they face the continent’s big guns in the Champions League next year.

We have become used to our teams failing to make it past the preliminary stage of international football, but until their recent loss of form, Lioli had the potential to do well in the Champions League.

We are talking of national pride here, which is why I hope Lioli officials are going to do everything in their power to get this team back on track, sooner rather than later.

On a different but very sad note, I would like to extend my condolences to the family of the late former national team defender, Eric Makara. Makara passed away last week after a long battle with cancer.

A talented right-back in his heyday, Makara played for the likes of Matlama, Lerotholi Polytechnic and LDF.

Makara was also a member of the most successful Likuena which reached the final of the regional Cosafa tournament in 2000, hence he deserves to be called a legend of the game in our country.

I think his best football days were in the green-and-gold of LDF, when the army side dominated the local scene, winning back-to-back league trophies.

We have lost a man who still had much to offer to the young generation in terms of his extensive knowledge of the beautiful game.

Rest In Peace, my brother, you did your bit to make our game respectable among our neighbours!

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