Two foreign strikers, Lazola Tjokotjokoane and Junior Maba, stole the show during last weekend’s Independence Top4 tournament played at Setsoto Stadium.
Bantu’s Tjokotjokoane of South Africa and Lioli’s Cameroonian hitman Maba, gave defenders a torrid time throughout the two-day championship bankrolled by Standard Lesotho Bank and Metropolitan Lesotho.
In addition to Lioli and Bantu, LCS and Matlama also took part in the annual competition. Bantu won the Cup after beating Lioli 15-14 on penalties.
However, I must admit I was extremely impressed by what these two strikers did during those two days of heart-stopping action, and the fact that Tjokotjokoane scored twice to become joint top-scorer with Lieta Lehloka of LCS and Matlama’s Motebang Sera spoke volumes of his commitment and impact on the tournament.
Both Tjokotjokoane and Maba were outstanding in holding on to the ball and their shooting technique—a refreshing sight in a league increasingly short of such basic attributes in its players.
Maba joined Lioli five years ago, while Tjokotjokoane signed with Bantu in 2013, and I have to say their presence in our premiership has added immense value and some quality to the topflight league.
Watching the two in action, I imagined them playing for the national team, Likuena, and the more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me. We all know how Likuena have been struggling for goals, and here we have two strikers who can be the solution to our problem if we can convince them to take up our citizenship.
We have seen it happening before where Home Affairs has even been on television parading our new batch of Basotho from far and wide.
I am looking at the fortunes of our national football team and with no light at the end of the tunnel, I would like to suggest that the Lesotho Football Association hierarchy things long and hard about Maba and Tjokotjokoane and see if they are interested in taking up our citizenship.
Both players showed passion, and commitment to their chosen sport, which I believe showcased at the highest level, could be what this nation needed to stop being the dusting doormats of continental football.
I am aware that Lesotho does not allow dual citizenship, but I urge our lawmakers to consider a review not for the sake of the two footballers but the general populace which has been calling for this change for years now.
As for Maba and Tjokotjokoane they have not played for their respective countries before so they would not have any problem featuring for Likuena.
It is every footballer’s dream to play international football and I believe both Tjokotjokoane and Maba are no different.
What I am suggesting here happens all the time throughout the world, and it wouldn’t be a surprise should we do the same here with Tjokotjokoane and Maba.
We have continued to disappoint on the international stage as far as football is concerned and we now have a good opportunity to try and do something about it.
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