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Football beloved has fallen


Seabata Mahao

The Lesotho football fraternity is in melancholy after the sad news surfaced that the once renowned football legend, ‘Seephephe ‘Mochini’ Matete has passed away.

‘Number 10’, as the ace coach was affectionately known in the football sphere died at the age of 65 in Johannesburg on Sunday after a long illness.

The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) released an official statement of the passing of Matete. In the statement dated November 21, 2022 LeFA stated that Matete served LeFA in different portfolios over the years and regarded as one of the greatest footballers to have graced the football fields in the Kingdom of Lesotho.

LeFA stated that Mochini’s football career took him to the neighbouring South Africa, where he played in the mines and for Bloemfontein Celtic while he was currently serving with the instructors for the on-going Champions of African Football (CAF) A License Coaching Course.

“Mochini played for Matlama FC in the 1970s to 1980s. He then retired as a player coach of Matlama FC until he became the Head Coach of the team. He served as LeFA’s Technical Director then became Lesotho’s second CAF and Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) Coach Instructor after the legendary Styles Phumo,” statement read.

The legendary Mochini will be remembered as the first coach to guide the Lesotho national team to a CAF  competition, when he along with Lehlohonolo  Thotanyana, qualified the National Under-20 Makoanyane XI  team to the then African Youth Championship held in Benin in 2005.  

“We send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and the football fraternity at large. Words cannot express how saddened we are to lose this icon. We wish the family comfort, courage and lots of love as we all mourn our legend.

“He will be remembered for his bubbly personality and passion for the beautiful game. May his soul rest in peace,” Lefa said.

The Public Relations Officer of LeFA, Mikia Kalali explained that Matete served as Likuena Coach for a long time before assuming the position of national team’s coordinator and left to marshal Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) FC in 2020 which was his final coaching position.

Speaking with LMPS FC Spokesperson, Thinyane Ramangoane said they are very grateful to have work with the icon that changed the football fraternity of Lesotho.

“Mochini played a big role in changing and developing the LMPS FC team into what it is now. He implemented the development team and made sure that our team makes it to the top 8 and top 4 of the leagues during those seasons,” Ramangoane explained.

He further mentioned that, LMPS FC was able to send Nkau Lerotholi, Basia Makepe and Sekhoane Moerane to the national team squad. 

Meanwhile, Matlama FC released a statement on November 23, 2022 which stated that, Mochini has been supportive to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the team as well as the whole team in different ways.

“We knew when times were tough that we would seek help from him. The last time was when we needed a CAF A Licence coach to play for the CAF earlier this year, he did not hesitate to help us and he let us use his name as the head coach of the team,” the statement said.

The left-footed attacking middle-fielder is regarded as one of the top gifted footballers bred in Lesotho. He represented Lesotho in 1974 and 1982 World Cup qualifiers.

The starlet played for the defending Champions Matlama FC and the National Team Likuena during his early days.

Mochini will be laid to rest on Saturday, 3 Dec, 9am at Bambatha TÅ¡ita

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