THE Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has honoured the duo of Souru Phatšoane and Boitumelo ‘Queen’ Rabale following their milestones in the CAF Champions League and Africa Cup of Nations respectively.
Feb. 16, 2022
3 min read
LeFA honours Phatšoane, Rabale over CAF milestones
Top Lesotho Assistant Referee, Souru Phatšoane
- Rabale won inaugural edition of the women’s CAF Champions League with Sundowns
- Phatšoane believes in hard work and taking advantage of any opportunity
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Mehalalitoe captain, Rabale in October became the first Lesotho footballer to win the CAF Champions League after she won the inaugural edition of the women’s tournament with Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
Phatšoane on the other hand inked his name in the Lesotho football history books and the continent’s along with South Africa’s duo of Victor Gomes and Zakhele Siwela, by becoming the first referees from southern Africa to officiate the final of the recent 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Speaking at the welcome reception held by LeFA on Monday, Phatšoane admitted that his appointment to officiate the final between Senegal and Egypt came as a surprise to him.
“We knew of the appointment to officiate the final two days before the game and we were well over the moon once we learnt of the decision made,” he said.
“At that moment the most important thing for us was to remain injury free and cautions in our training in order to prepare for the game because it’s a dream for every referee to officiate the final of any tournament.”
While the Tšenola-born assistant referee admits that his appointment came as a surprise him, he however believes that hard work paved his way to the top.
“My secret is very simple, to work hard and make use of any opportunity that comes my way. I always make sure that I’m in good shape to cope with the demands of a game because teams can make substitutes while we as referees cannot,” Phatšoane said.
“I make sure that I’m in good physical condition and remain fresh to the very last minute of the game especially in the second half, when teams get to make frequent substitutions.
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“I must say, I wasn’t expecting to officiate the final because if you look at the team that I was working with, I don’t have their experience when it comes to continental football and I expected to at least officiate in three Afcon tournaments before I could be handed such a big responsibility. I don’t want to lie, it came as a surprise looking at the fact that this was my only Afcon tournament, my age and their experience,” he said.
LeFA Executive Committee Member and Chairman of the Referees Committee, Tebalo Mpiti expressed the association’s pride in Phatšoane achievements, urging other referees to follow in his footsteps.
“We are very proud of Phatšoane, who has continued to fly our flag high internationally and I hope his younger colleagues are learning from him because he is forever shining officiating in big international competitions,” Mpiti said.
“It’s our dream to see more referees getting to this level and surpassing his achievements. With the way he has been performing, I have no doubt that he will make the next World Cup, which will make us prouder.”