THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) says it will not be sending a team to the regional COSAFA Under-17 tournament in Mauritius next month because the competition would be too early for new coach who will be announced within the next two weeks.
This is the second successive year that Lesotho has failed to take part at the regional youth tourney which was won by Namibia last year.
LeFA Secretary General, Mokhosi Mohapi this week told the Lesotho Times that it would be premature to send the team which has been without a coach for a long time.
He said the delay in appointing the coach was caused by financial constraints.
This publication has it on good authority that Lioli coach Halemakale Mahlaha who temporarily took charge of the team in 2016 is the favourite to land the job.
LeFA will also appoint a coach for the under-20 team Makoanyane XI to take over from Motlalepula Majoro who had disastrous campaigns in the continental qualifiers and 2016 COSAFA Under-20 tournament where Lesotho was eliminated in the group stages.
The Lesotho under-17 team is yet to qualify for the continental competition while Makoanyane XI twice qualified for the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in 2005 and 2011 under the mentorship of Leslie Notši and Seephephe Matete respectively.
Mohapi declined to reveal the identity of the new coaches, saying they had however, given the new coaches of the under-15, 17 and 20 teams their appointment letters.
He said it was not all doom and gloom for the national teams as they still had the senior Likuena side, the women's national team, Mehalalitoe and Makoanyane XI all taking part in different categories of the regional COSAFA competition in June, September and December respectively.
"Of course we are disappointed as the association to miss the (under-17) tournament but we have to look at long term goals of the team," Mohapi said, adding it was always important to prepare well for every tournament.
"We have already sent appointment letters to the coaches though they are yet to respond to us but in principle they have accepted the offers and we will make announcements once everything has been finalised.
"The idea is to prepare for the future and have consistency within our national teams," he added.