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Mehalitoe’s COSAFA dream shattered

Moorosi Tsiane

THE senior women’s soccer national team will not be part of the regional COSAFA Cup in Port Elizabeth from 31 July to 11 August.

This after the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA), National Executive Committee (NEC) resolved that the team should stop playing international tournaments until they show seriousness.

Mehalalitoe finished last in Group B in 2018 after losing all three matches against Zambia, Mozambique and the tournament guests, Cameroon.

The results saw the then coach Monaheng Montšo being demoted to the under-20 team swapping places with Lire Phiri. Phiri took over the senior team last month.

In his first assignment as Mehalitoe coach, Phiri played two friendlies against eSwatini where they twice surrendered their leads to draw 1-1 and 2-2.

In an interview with Sunday Express on Friday, LeFA secretary general Mokhosi Mohapi confirmed that the team has not been enrolled into the tournament this year.

“We attempted to enrol them (Mehalalitoe) but unfortunately it was already late because COSAFA already had 12 teams,” Mohapi said.

“The reason we delayed to enrol them was because of the national executive committee (NEC) resolution that we should stop to sending them for any regional and international tournaments.

“So, we had to wait and hear what the NEC would say and unfortunately, by the time we were given the go ahead it was already late,” said Mohapi.

He however, said the team will continue playing international friendlies and if they continue to impress, they will be enrolled in upcoming tournaments.

“We will try to get them matches and prepare them for any upcoming competitions but that will only happen if they start convincing us that they want to play to win,” he said.

Mohapi said the team has lost focus.

“They have been playing together for the past four years and they started off very well until they got comfortable and lost their direction.

“They started coming into camp just enjoy themselves and playing just to fulfil matches thereby losing by humiliating margins.”

He said to increase the pool of female women football teams.

He said they are scheduled to host play-offs starting this weekend in Leribe where the two top teams will play the winner from Maseru play-offs.

“Eventual winners from the matches will qualify into the Women’s Super league. Mohapi said this is meant to increase the pool of female soccer teams.

Mohapi said they are also working hard to change the mentality that ladies who play football are lesbians as that makes them to misbehave.

“We are also working to change the mentality. We have been watching the Women World Cup (currently running in France) and you cannot say women footballers all behave like men. The stereotype has top change,” Mohapi said.

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