15-year old Qacha’s Nek referee makes history
Qacha’s Nek born Lehlohonolo Tṧephe created history on Monday as he became the youngest referee to participate in the Lesotho Football Association referees basic course.
The teenager from Seforong is among 30 participants from Qacha’s Nek taking part in the week-long training for referees beginners held at Bambatha Tṧita Sports Arena.
Speaking at the official opening of the course on Monday, LeFA Referees Coordinator, and former international referee, Mohau Sentṧo encouraged the young referees to work hard and dream big.
“You must have a dream and work hard for it to become a reality. We have male and female referees flying out of the country to officiate matches in Angola, Eswatini and Zimbabwe on CAF assignments this week,” Sentṧo explained.
“You have a very good chance of emulating them or going further, but that can only come if you are committed, dedicated and disciplined as young referees. The ball is in your court.”
Speaking at the same event, DIFA Qacha’s Nek President Tebalo Mpiti, expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the Lesotho Football Association for the investment made on his district through the educational programmes.
DIFA Qacha’s Nek were also the first recipients of the first ever D License Coaching course held in the country last week as LeFA resumed with the CAF courses that have been on hold over the last few years.
“Let me thank LeFA through the office of Technical Director for providing us as DIFA Qacha’s Nek with the two courses for coaches and referees over the last two weeks,” Mpiti said.
“We are very grateful that all we have to do is to avail ourselves to get educated while the Association takes care of all the logistics. I urge all the participants to make use of this opportunity to improve their football knowledge and of course the district of Qacha’s Nek.
“There are a lot of opportunities in football nowadays especially in refereeing and I have no doubt that you will also go on to explore those opportunities by emulating the current crop of referees, who are doing the country proud internationally,” he said.
Tṧephe, who is a Grade 8 student at Patlong High School, said he fell in love with refereeing at a tender age and his dream is to one day officiate at the biggest stage of international football.
He told LeFA that “I started my journey as a referee in 2017 while I was still in Primary School and I’m now getting the education that will help improve my knowledge as a young referee.
“My dream is to grow as a referee and officiate at the international stage. Every time I watch international tournaments, I get inspired to work hard at my craft to eventually fulfil my dream.”