WHEN the draw for the 2012 African Nations Cup is conducted later this month, Lesotho will not be in the hat.
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) said the decision not to register Likuena for the next edition of the biennial tournament was reached after realising the country would not afford taking part in the competition.
The decision comes hard on the heels of Lefa’s resolution not to have representatives in continental club competitions as well.
The reason was the same: the football mother-body has no money to take part in international tournaments.
The decisions boggle the mind.
We are not going to ask Lefa to account for the US$240 000 they receive from the international football body Fifa.
Neither will we ask them to tell the nation what they do with the M1 million they have been receiving from taxpayers every year.
That money, according to Lefa, is not even enough to cover the association’s overheads and other expenses.
Fair and fine.
But we are duty-bound to ask, on behalf of the kingdom, when Lefa discovered that they would not be able to afford competing in the continental tournaments.
The logical follow-up question would have been: when they realised they would not have money for the continental assignments, what did they do?
It’s pointless to ask because they did nothing except shaming our nation – for the umpteenth time.
If countries torn apart by civil strife like Somalia and Ethiopia can afford playing in the Nations Cup qualifiers it’s a scandal that we can’t.
If countries with moribund economies like Zimbabwe can afford participating in the tournament it’s a shame that we can’t.
Put simply, our football administrators are an embarrassment to the nation.
If they had foresight, Lesotho would be taking part in the 2012 qualifiers.
They could have started long back looking for funding for the African safari.
As poor as we are as a country, the corporate sector and many individuals could have chipped in if a fundraising campaign was thought about.
But no sponsors are interested in backing people who in the first place show no interest in their work.
With football leaders like these, any wonder the standard of our play remains very poor?
Not registering Likuena in the Nations Cup is a decision that should never have been made.
Yet the move goes beyond reminding the world that we are not interested in being taken seriously as a football nation.
We wonder if the mandarins at Lefa realise that not playing in the Nations Cup qualifiers has serious implications for Lesotho’s football development plans.
Our players need experience and exposure if they are to become competitive on the international scene.
And they can only gain that by playing in the Nations Cup and CAF Champions League.
Is it not surprising then that last week we had Lefa’s acting chief executive trying to defend the scandalous decision by claiming that Likuena were not good enough to take part in the football tournament in the first place?
How will Lefa’s decision to pull out Likuena improve the team?
And why is Lefa behaving like they recently discovered that Lesotho was not good enough?
Clearly we have a crisis in our football but anyone who thinks pulling Likuena from international tournaments will solve the crisis will need to have their head examined or be stopped from running our football.