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Under-17s dissolved over age cheating

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) this week dissolved the Under-17 national football side for using over-aged players during a tournament in South Africa earlier this year.
The Sunday Express heard last week that the decision to dissolve the team was made during Lefa’s national executive committee meeting held in October.
Lefa communications officer, Mikea Kalati, on Thursday confirmed that the team had been disbanded.
“When the team competed in the Metropolitan Under-17 tournament earlier this year in Durban it was found out that they used over-aged players and we now want to address this issue.
“We need to scrutinise this saga because you will also remember that even the Under-20 side was accused of age cheating and we seriously need to deal with it,” Kalati said.
He said they will only be in position to announce the return of Bahlabani on the basis of recommendations of the technical director’s office.
“We don’t really know when the team will be back in action because we will have to wait for the recommendations of the technical director’s office,” Kalati said.
He however dismissed rumours that Lefa had also dissolved the Under-15 national team.
“We are now working with the Under-15 team and the most important thing here is to establish a good foundation at an early stage,” he said.
Bahlabani coaches Bishop Molatoli and Halemakale Mahlaha were “told to go home” by Lefa technical director Seephephe Matete following the meeting in October.
Molatoli confirmed they were told to go home in October.
“We were told that there was no Under-17 side for now because it is not registered for any competitions,” Molatoli said.
“We were then just told to go home by Ntate Seephephe in a meeting but we have never received any letters to that effect.”
He claimed they were still to be paid their November salaries.
“We were told of this decision in October and got our salaries but up to now we are still expecting our salaries for November because we were not officially fired,” Molatoli said.
He however said the decision to dissolve the two development teams was a blow to domestic football.
“We are simply killing our football because most of the players who currently make up the Under-20 and Likuena squads are from these development teams,” he said.

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