MASERU — Premier League teams will increase from 12 to 14 when the next league season begins.
The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) spokesperson Baba Malephane told the Sunday Express that the association had decided to increase the teams after a request from the Premier League Committee (PLC).
Malephane said he believed that the addition of two teams to the league would bring positive changes to Lesotho’s football, which he said was already weak.
“Indeed we have such a request from the premier league and have agreed to increase the teams as from the start of the 2013/14 campaign,” said Malephane.
“We also feel that adding two more teams will provide players with more game time to improve their competitiveness and sharpness,” he said.
Local clubs have been struggling to make an impression in continental competitions for many years.
Lesotho Premier League spokesperson Lehlohonolo Matlosa told the Sunday Express this week that the addition of two teams to the league would make it easy to improve the standard of local football.
The league’s primary goal, Matlosa said, is to build the capacities of local teams to compete at the international level.
The league was also concerned about the poor performance of the senior national team, Likuena, which gets its players from premier league teams.
The proposal to increase premier league teams, in an effort to improve the standards of teams that groom players for Likuena, comes barely a month after the national side was humiliated by a 7 – 0 defeat to Ghana on June 2.
“We have informed Lefa of our intentions,” Matlosa said.
“Our wish is to improve the standard of club football in the country,” he said.
“It will become easy to make our league a big success.”
Matlosa also said the improvement of football in the country would attract more sponsors.
“We need a lot of improvement to get more sponsors and we can’t just sit back and watch as the standards continue to decline,” he said.
Matlosa continued: “We have been struggling at both club and national team level, which makes us fail at the international stage and that must come to an end.”
“We must first make our own league competitive.”
“We feel that our players see very little action in the current 12 team’s league and the fact that we have a few cup competitions makes it even worse,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) communications and marketing manager Donny Ntakha has welcomed the idea of increasing the teams to 14.
“All we want to see is football going forward and surely bringing more teams will improve competition among the teams and players,” said Ntakha.
He said competition among the elite clubs had lowered since the teams were reduced to 12 a few years back.
“It is a concern because we have a few cup competitions in the country, but I believe that adding two more teams from the 2013/14 season will see an improvement,” he said.