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Likuena ex-players slam Lefa over team’s travel fiasco

Mikia Kalati

MASERU — Former Likuena captain Tšepo Hlojeng on Friday slammed the Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) over last week’s shambolic travel arrangements for a World Cup qualifier in Kumasi, Ghana.
The team endured a nightmare trip to Ghana after it was stuck at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, for two days due to visa problems.
Hlojeng, a former Likuena skipper, said Lefa should shoulder most of the blame and show more respect to the national team.
“This is completely unacceptable,” Hlojeng said.
“The executive committee members need to understand their roles and responsibility and that of the secretariat within the structure of Lefa.”
He added: “I’m afraid that if they continue to operate this way such things are going to continue to happen. The coach and his plans for such a big game should have been taken into consideration and given respect.”
Hlojeng said this was not the first time that Lesotho has experienced such a problem adding it is sad that such a thing is happening again.
In February, Likuena players were stranded in Gabon on the team’s way to Sao Tome and Principe for an African Nations Cup qualifier.
Hlojeng said Lefa must appoint a team manager instead of a national executive committee member to take over the national team’s travel arrangements.
“They are board members and are too busy to work in that role because it demands time,” he said.
The Lesotho team left the country on Tuesday morning hoping to arrive in Ghana on the same day, but only landed at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport on Thursday night.
The team had to take another 30 minute flight to Kumasi on Friday morning — just less than eight hours before kickoff time.
The team’s preparations for the crucial encounter against the Black Stars were already marred by controversy after experienced midfielder Motlalepula Mofolo was kicked out of camp.
Mofolo was booted out of the squad for allegedly leading a protest over allowances.
Meanwhile, ex-Likuena legend Teele Ntšonyane said the chaos in the Lesotho team is very bad for the game.
“We had a similar problem in the early 90s, we were to play the then Zaire now DR Congo and ended up being stranded at the airport for days,” said Ntšonyane.
He said they lost that match 7-0.
“Surely we cannot be expecting such things to be happening again now,” he said.
A disgruntled senior player told the Sunday Express that he and other members of the team are considering their future in the national team.
“We were only given M700 each for this trip after we had demandedM4 000, it seems to us that our efforts are not being appreciated by the association. We are tired of fighting over this issue each and every year,” he said.
“I’m still shocked by the way the Mofolo’s case was handled; he was not among the group of players who led the protest over allowances and it shows that no one real cares about our well being.”

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