Sunday Tabloid - O'Brien set for African debut at last.

Last updated : 31 January 2005 By Kunta Kinte

A map of Lesotho, yesterday
Will-he-or-won’t-he Livi striker Burton O’Brien looks set to end his international misery by finally being capped for Lesotho.

Despite being a Scot and having played for Scotland at under-21 level, O’Brien had hoped to play full international football for South Africa due to that being his country of birth. “Some folk have said to me that I only want to play for South Africa cos getting into the Scotland squad is too hard, plus the weather’s better. But that’s not true. I’ve wanted to play for…who’s it again? Oh aye, South Africa, ever since I was a wee boy” he told our reporter last night.

“Anyway, I’ve even been to Nelson’s Column” he continued “which is kinda the same as Nelson Mandella isn’t it?”

However, O’Brien was then rocked by the bombshell that he is, in fact, not entitled to don South Africa’s green shirt after all, as he was actually born in Lesotho. The small land-locked state is completely surrounded by South Africa, and the car O’Brien was born in broke-down marginally inside the Lesothoan border. Lesotho currently lie in joint 141st place in FIFA's world rankings.

But whilst O’Brien was disappointed, one man certainly was not. King Letsie III of Lesotho was positively beaming at the prospect. “Why old boy, it’s utterly spiffing!” he said on the Official Lesotho Government website last night. “I was a rugger man myself at Eton, but I know the chaps back home love football so Burton will be a big hit, what what?”

O’Brien may make his debut as soon as next week as Lesotho are due to play a friendly in Maseru against Burkina Faso. He may need to bring his own boots however as the LEFA have none available. Kind-hearted Livi chief Pierce Brosnan has already promised to provide the match ball and a corner flag.