The Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies’ team is gearing up to compete in the upcoming Women’s Champions League qualifiers, where they will face tough opponents from across the region.
The recent draw placed LDF Ladies in Group A alongside Zambia’s Green Buffaloes, Double Action Ladies from Botswana, and Ntopwa FC from Malawi.
The regional qualifiers, organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), are scheduled to take place in Durban from August 30 to September 8 this year.
This competition serves as a preliminary stage for the continental Women’s Champions League, which is set to be held in Ivory Coast from November 5 to 19.
While LDF Ladies managed to avoid facing 2021 winners Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies FC from South Africa, their opponents in Group A will undoubtedly pose formidable challenges.
The Lesotho team has been participating in the Women’s Champions League since its inception in 2021. In their debut appearance, LDF Ladies faced a tough 6-0 defeat against Double Action Ladies of Botswana.
Despite a challenging start, the LDF Ladies aim to make their mark in this year’s qualifiers. Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals, where the winner of Group A will face the runners-up of Group B, and vice versa.
The club that emerges as the winner of their group will secure a coveted spot in the continental competition in Ivory Coast.
Meanwhile, the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has also received recognition on the officiating front. Two elite female referees from LeFA, ‘Mathabo Kolokotoane and Polotso Maapara, have received call-ups from the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) to be part of the officiating team for the upcoming CAF qualifiers 2023.
LeFA highlighted that Kolokotoane is one of the region’s senior female referees, having already officiated matches in previous editions of the COSAFA tournaments. Her experience includes handling the third-fourth place play-offs during the 2022 tournament held in Durban.
Additionally, Kolokotoane officiated the final of the COSAFA Girls U-17 tournament hosted by Mauritius in 2019.
Both referees have a remarkable track record, including their involvement in the final between South Africa and Zambia at last year’s Hollywood Bets Women Championship. Their inclusion in the officiating team for the CAF qualifiers speaks volumes about their expertise and dedication to promoting women’s football in the region.