Boost for players ahead of crucial qualifiers
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has given M2 500 to each of the 56 members of the national team (Likuena) and under-20 side (Makoanyane XI).
The money, which was handed over to the two teams during a special function held at Bambatha Tšita Arena on Wednesday last week, is meant to motivate the players ahead of their crucial international assignments.
Likuena face Kenya in the second round of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier later this month, while Makoanyane XI clash with Nigeria in August in the last qualifier of the 2015 African Youth Championship.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Lefa president, Salemane Phafane, emphasised the money was not a bonus but “something to cheer the players with” before the crucial ties.
“It was not an easy decision to make at all, but as the Lefa executive committee, we thought for a change, at least let’s give you this money before these important matches against Kenya and Nigeria.
“These monies are not bonuses; we are doing this to show our appreciation of the good job you have been doing since the qualifiers started and, hopefully, the money will uplift your spirits and help you do even better,” Phafane said.
He further said the money was also confirmation that Lefa would always be behind the teams, both in good and tough times.
“The association is doing this to show our extended support to both teams,” said Phafane.
“We are trying to show the players that we will always be behind them, whether they are winning or losing games.
“We would want to quash the notion within certain quarters that we only care about you when you are performing well
The Lefa president also paid tribute to the respective teams’ coaching departments for a job well, which has seen Makoanyane XI beat Swaziland and Angola in the first and second round, while Likuena stunned Liberia in the first round qualifier.
“I would like to urge you to ensure that your teams qualify for your respective competitions in Senegal (under-20s) and Morocco (Likuena),” he said.
In his address, the Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) president, Limpho Mokhochane, applauded Lefa for the payments and urged the players to “go all out” and make the country proud.
“This is a very good initiative by Lefa and I am saying to you the players; go out there and give your all and hoist our country’s flag high.
“We are very impressed, as the sports commission, about this decision and, hopefully, it will be a motivation as you head into these very important ties against Kenya and Nigeria,” Mokhochane said.
“You must know that the whole nation is behind you, and please disregard the negative comments that some few individuals are making about you on social networks and focus on your upcoming matches.”
Likuena assistant coach, Halemakale Mahlaha, who spoke on behalf of the two teams, said the incentives could not have come at a better time.
“We are very grateful for this incentive and we will show our appreciation by ensuring we do the nation proud in the two fixtures that await us,” Mahlaha said.