The local federation confirmed the coach’s departure just two weeks before the tournament, saying he resigned because he received another job offer.
Lesotho suffered a severe blow following the resignation of head coach Thabo Senong with immediate effect.
According to the Lesotho Football Federation, Senong – who had already named his provisional team for the next 2021 Cosafa Cup to be held in South Africa – has resigned after “receiving an offer from elsewhere”.
The National Executive Committee of the Lesotho Football Association wishes to inform the football fraternity and the nation as a whole that only one week before the departure of the national team for the Cosafa Cup, the national team coach, Thabo [Senong], submitted his resignation letter, and in his letter, Senong said he had an offer elsewhere, ”read part of the LFA statement seen by Goal.
“The NEC accepted the resignation letter with a heavy heart, considering that Senong’s replacement is due to take on the team with only a week before the tournament. Senong was employed as a national team coach in August 2019 and has been in charge of the team to this day.
“His resignation surprised LFA management as he had already announced his squad and started the bio-bubble camp for the next regional tournament scheduled for Nelson Mandela Bay in South Africa.
“It will be remembered that the Association had set a goal for the coach of the national team at the very least, to bring the team to the semi-finals of the Cosafa tournament. It will also be remembered that during the two years in As a Likuena coach, Senong played 13 games recording seven draws, six losses and no wins.
The federation also confirmed that technical director Leslie Notsi will take over the squad and have recommended Lehlohonolo Thotanyana as technical advisor, Shalane Lehohla as assistant coach while Sam Ketsekile will take charge of goalkeeper coach.
“Under the circumstances described above, the Association immediately hired Technical Director Leslie Notsi to take over the team and recommended Mr. Lehlohonolo Thotanyana as technical advisor, Shalane Lehohla as assistant coach and Sam Ketsekile. as the goalkeeper coach.
“The NEC wish Leslie Notsi, their entire technical team and the players all the best as they take on their counterparts in the regional tournament. Also wish Senong good luck in his future endeavors.
Lesotho has been regrouped in Group A of the competition alongside host countries South Africa, Eswatini and Botswana.
Zambia will begin their title defense against Comoros at Isaac Wolfson Stadium on July 7, but that is after the tournament kicks off by Eswatini and Lesotho at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on July 6, before Africa South meets Botswana at the same location later in the day.
Six-time winner Zimbabwe will be in action on July 8 against Mozambique in the same venue, while guest nation West Africa Senegal will also enter the fray on their debut against Namibia.
The group stage will end on July 14, with the semi-finals, for the three best-placed group winners and runners-up to be played two days later at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.