Sports

Mehalalitoe prepares for COSAFA

Chris Theko

The yearlong international competition ban severed on the Lesotho senior women’s national team Mehalalitoe has been lifted by the national football governing body the Lesotho Football Association (LeFA). 

The team was halted from international competition early last year after a string of bad results and bad behaviour amongst the players in camp. 

LeFA Media Officer Mikia Kalati told this publication that following a series of international friendlies in their rebuilding phase, the team impressed the association hence the decision to allow them another go at international duty.

“The Technical Director and the Executive of LeFA was convinced that the team is ready for the international scene again after their impressive display in the friendly matches they played recently,” Kalati said. 

The side is expected to mark their return by competing in the 2020 Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Women’s Championship in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay. The tournament will take place from 3 to 14 November. 

COSAFA announced the dates and venue on Monday October 12, and said the senior tournament will be staged concurrently with the Women’s Under-17 Championship. 

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 that interrupted this year’s sporting calendar, the COSAFA Women’s Championship will be the first women’s international showpiece to be staged on African soil. 

Several teams have already expressed interest in taking part in the competition and COSAFA said it is expecting at least eight teams. 

“The teams that have confirmed their participation are South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Comoros, Angola and Malawi while Namibia and eSwatini are awaiting government approval to travel. Kenya has requested a guest spot in the tournament, while Mauritius remains doubtful. Madagascar, Seychelles and Mozambique have declined and Lesotho is yet to commit,” COSAFA said. 

Even though Lesotho has not yet confirmed its participation, Kalati said the association is committed to ensuring the team’s participation this year after having missed the 2019 edition. 

“We have already started with the registration process and the team is expected to assemble for preparations soon so the team will definitely participate in the tournament this year,” Kalati said. 

LeFA recently organised a Covid -19 workshop along with the National Covid-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC). 

Meanwhile, COSAFA has cancelled the senior men’s 2020 edition of the tournament citing that it was too late to start preparations when the South African government reopened borders to African countries and confirmed that international sporting events could resume starting last month. 

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