LESOTHO’S women’s national football team failed to sparkle on their return to the international competition and duly exited the Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Cup after winning only one group match against Namibia.
Hosts Zimbabwe play South Africa in the final this afternoon.
Mehalalitoe lost by identical 0-3 margins to South Africa and Botswana in Group C.
I think everyone knew that they would not win the tournament and I was not surprised by the results.
That said, I want to give credit to the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) for their courage in sending the team to test themselves against their regional counterparts.
It has been three seasons since the launch of Lesotho’s Women Super League and I am adamant that if given the same kind of support as their male counterparts, Mehalalitoe will soon match their counterparts in the region.
During the team’s send-off ceremony LeFA President, Salemane Phafane, said he pushed for the league to be relaunched after a bitter feud between the then Women Football League Committee and LeFA’s Executive Committee that saw women’s football coming to a standstill.
Now that Phafane has retained the LeFA presidency, I hope he will also push for talent scouting and development programmes in the rural areas to increase the pool of players.
I am not saying people should applaud mediocrity and celebrate the dismal failure of our team but this was really a good initiative from LeFA to send Mehalalitoe to Zimbabwe.
However, our focus must now turn to the development side of the sport before chasing international glory.
I have always said that until we have players who are groomed from the grassroots, it will always be a waste of time and resources to compete in international competitions as our teams will never win anything but just make up the numbers.
I know there are people who hold different views on Mehalalitoe’s performance in Zimbabwe and while we all want our team to win whenever it competes, winning is not something that just happens by chance or luck.
It is all about hard work and dedication from all stakeholders not just the players.