MASERU — When the 2009 Vodacom Soccer Spectacular finally kicks off in October there’s little doubt the nation’s eyes will be glued on the showpiece.
The four-week extravaganza is Lesotho’s first M1 million football tournament.
But that’s not the only reason all eyes will be fixed on the event.
Those spellbound gazes won’t be on Vodacom’s blue VIP sections at host grounds, nor will they be set on cheerleaders. No.
Instead all eyes will be on the number of goals that will be scored in this year’s tournament.
That may sound straightforward enough — goals win games.
However in Lesotho’s cup competitions goals have become as findable as grass on the moon.
The last three major finals in the country — 2008’s MGC Supa 8 and Imperial Top 8, and this year’s MGC contest — have produced a grand total of five goals; two of those finals have been decided on penalties.
The most recent of these, LMPS’s 2-0 Supa 8 victory over LDF three weeks ago, was perhaps the worst cup final ever seen in Lesotho; a match where the ball spent more time airborne than on the ground — a final that was more head-ball than football.
In terms of artistic value football in Lesotho is at an all-time low, indeed if farming was a weekend sport it would possibly be more exciting to watch.
The only side in the country worth any entrance fee is Lioli — special mention does go to LCS, Matlama and even Nyenye Rovers, but that’s only because it’s Sunday.
Football encounters in Lesotho are rarely inspiring, usually pass-less and forever played in frantic mode.
So when Vodacom’s executives were enjoying their afternoon tea and biscuits they came up with an idea to give teams a kick up the backside.
This year M1000 will go to charity for every goal scored.
Charities and football fans alike will hope Vodacom lose bucketloads of money, for a good cause of course — goals.