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IT’S E2.9 M SPONSORSHIP FOR THE 2018/19 ESWATINI BANK

The sponsorship of the 2018/19 Eswatini Bank Cup has increased by E3 000 000.00 from the previous edition. This was revealed by the Managing Director (MD) of the Eswatini Bank, Mr. Zakhele Lukhele during the 16th edition of this competition in an event held at the spacious Royal Swazi Spa Convention Centre. “This year’s sponsorship is E2.9 Million which shows an increments of about E300 000.00 from the previous edition.”; Lukhele said. The champions of the main competition are E1.1 Million plus a ticket to participate in the next edition of the TOTAL CAF Confederations Cup. The runners up will get E500 00.00 whilst the semi-finalist will pocket E125 000.00. This edition’s coach of the tournament will get E10 000.00.

Like the previous edition; there will be a women’s football tournament which has a sponsorship of E150 000.00. This year’s sponsorship will also be completed by an U20 competition. “It’s a family affair competition as the sponsorship package includes the men, women and the development aspects of football”; Lukhele said. The bank with a heart didn’t omit the fans in as far as this competition is concerned as there are numerous fan engagement initiatives that are attached to this tournament.

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ESWATINI BANK CUP IS NOT AN ORDINARY TOURNAMENT- HONOURABLE MINISTER HARRIS BULUNGA

The Honourable Minister of Sports, Arts and Youth Affairs, Honourable Harris Bulunga has stated that the Eswatini Bank Cup as not an ordinary tournament. “The Eswatini Bank Cup is not an ordinary tournament as it brings best football memories of our football”; said Bulunga. He was speaking during the official launch of the 2018/19 Eswatini Bank Cup which is a knockout competition that guarantees the Champions a cheque of E1.1 M and a ticket to compete in the TOTAL CAF Confederations Cup.

He also acknowledged the bank with a heart for investing in football over the years which has immensely contributed towards football development in the country. “On behalf of His Majesty’s Government; I would like to acknowledge Eswatini Bank for an improved sponsorship regardless of the trying economic status in the country of which this must motivate the participating teams and for her role towards football development in the country over the years”; Bulunga said. He also emphasised the importance of consistence sponsorships in order to achieve the goal of fully professionalizing the game of football in the country.

The Honourable Minister who is also a former football player and coach himself urged all stakeholders to apply the spirit of fair play during this competition so as to not tarnish the image of football and the sponsor. “Let’s not tarnish the image of the game and the sponsor by accepting the results as they come”; the Honourable Minister said. Finally he urged the nation to support the bank in all its promotional initiatives.    

EFA EXPRESSES HER CANDID GRATITUDE TO ESWATINI BANK

The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) through the President, Mr. Adam Mthethwa has expressed her candid gratitude to the Eswatini Bank for the investment towards football development in the country. “This is now one of the traditional competition, which we know historically has always connected the bridge between Regional football and National football”, Mthethwa said. The EFA President also highlighted that as a return on investment amongst other thigs; the football association has promised that the football family will protect and preserve the exceptional viewpoint of the Eswatini Bank.

The local football mother body also attributed the increment of women playing the beautiful game to the investment by the bank with a heart. “We therefore together with the women folk extend our greatest gratitude to Eswatini bank”; Mthethwa said.  He also extended the football association’s acknowledgement to the Government for her role towards the development of football in the country. “The EFA also salutes the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs for nurturing and enabling an environment that allows practice of football and her commitment to improve the performance of our teams locally and internationally.

SIHLANGU HEAD COACH ASKS FOR SUPPORT

Sihlangu SeMnikati Head coach Kostadic Papic has asked all the senior men’s national team to support the nation’s pride. The vast experienced gaffer made this plea when addressing the media during the press conference at the Sigwaca House in Mbabane. “I plea to all stakeholders to support the national team as we all have a collective goal for the team”’ Papic said.

The optimistic coach also highlighted that his main mandate is to shock the African continent by getting a positive result against Tunisia in an AFCON Qualifier match to be played in Tunisia in March. “We have nothing to lose against against Tunisia but we will be playing for a positive result as we won’t be happy even if we can get a draw let alone to loose even by a small margin”, he said.

However; he did highlight that this will not be an easy game as the Tunisians are a very competitive side that play good football and may be they have tactically superior players but he is prepared to work with the available players for Sihlangu who will be at their best come selection time. “The Tunisian side has competed even at world cup finals and the AFCON Final of which it is and indication that they are a very good national team; but in football, it’s eleven players each side of which anything is possible”; Papic said. The door is still open for all payers for them to convince the coach to be part of the squad the will make the trip to Tunisia as he has already watched some of them in action during local competitions.

TD ATTENDS CAF SEMINAR

The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Technical Director, Bhekisisa Mkhonta is in Cairo, Egypt in attendance of the CAF’s Memberships Technical Directors’ Seminar that is held in Cairo, Egypt. This seminar commenced on the 22nd with the last day to be the 24th January 2019.

Participants of this course are equipped with the right tools to develop coaching and grassroots football. Some of the topics to be covered in this seminar include; the role of the Technical Director, organization of technical development department, coaching convention, FIFA forward application and plan amongst others.

EFA SPONSORS WOMEN FOOTBALL LEAGUE BY E255 000.00

The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has yet again shown her commitment of developing women football in the country by sponsoring the Women Football League (WFL) by Two Hundred and Fifty-five Emalangeni only (E255 000.00) for the 2018/19 football season. This was disclosed by the EFA President, Adam Mthethwa when addressing the participating team in the competition in an event that was held this afternoon at the Sigwaca House in Mbabane.

“The EFA has a responsibility of developing women football in the country of which this starts at FIFA level”; Mthethwa said. The President highlighted that as an association that is responsible for any football business in the country; they are quite aware about the cultural challenges of women football in Africa thus they are very much happy about the level of participation this football season as it is a record that a women football league can have a total of sixteen football teams competing. “It is an achievement to have more teams competing in the league as in Africa our cultural values are not that much promoting girls/women to play football of which we have a big mandate in football to promote their participation”; The EFA President said.

Over the years, the EFA encouraged the security forces on the land to have women’s football teams that will compete with the other teams of which this is yielding positive results as it has enhance the level of competition in the league and other competitions. It is for this reason the EFA is also urging companies to adopt the other teams so as to assist them with more resources so that they can be more competitive. This will enhance the standard of women football in the country.

Mthethwa also highlighted that in total, the EFA will spend a total Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand Emalangeni (E660 000.00) in developing Women Football in the country this year as there are other development programmes that are vital in the development of the game. This includes the Schools Women Football Development Programme and the Women Football Coaching Programme just to mention but a few. It must be noted that this amount excludes the activities of the women national teams.   

NO WAY CAN SIHLANGU QUALIFY FOR THE AFCON 2019 FINALS

With the Confederation of African Football (CAF) giving Egypt the hosting rights of the TOTAL Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Finals to be held as from 15th  June to 13th  July 2019, still there is no way in-which Sihlangu SeMnikati can qualify to this competition. This was clarified by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA), Frederick Mngomezulu.

“As per the qualifiers system of the competition; if the host is ranked first, the host will qualifiy in addition to the second of the group; if the host is ranked second, the host will qualify in addition to the first of the group and even if the host was to be ranked third or fourth, the host will still qualify in addition to the first of the group”; Mngomezulu said.

This implies that in group J; Egypt and Tunisia are still the two countries who have qualified for the finals to be hosted by the former nation.

KOSTA PAPIC IS THE NEW SIHLANGU SEMNIKATI HEAD COACH

“The new coach, therefore is Mr. Kosta Papic”; said the President of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA), Mr. Adam Mthethwa. This announcement was made by the EFA President during a press conference held at the Sigwaca House in Mbabane on Thursday, 13th December 2018. The recruitment of Papic concludes the recruitment of the Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach. “Following the advert for the position of the Senior National Team Head Coach, stakeholders and the public are hereby informed that the recruitment process has been completed”; said Mthethwa.

As per the norm, this implies that Mr. Kosta Papic will recommend his assistant coaches after which the rest of the technical bench and management will be completed. This implies that the period of the interim technical bench and national team management has also come to an end. “In this regard, the football association would like to express its appreciation to Mr. Anthony Mdluli and his technical team and management for holding fort whilst the recruitment process continues, more particularly creating a base of competitive national team”; said the EFA President.

The stakeholders of the EFA were also requested to support the new coach as he execute his duties early in the new year. “The Executive Committee would like to further reiterate its commitment to ensure the improvement of the performance of the national team in all its international competitions, as per the national team strategy developed. It is therefore in this vein that the Executive Committee requests the support, patience and collaboration of all stakeholders towardCs the work of the new coach”; Mthethwa said.

It is expected that the new coach’s official match to lead the Nation’s Pride will be the TOTAL AFCON Qualifier match against Tunisia in match. Three months down the line, he will guide the national team to the annual COSAFA Senior Men’s Championship.v

THE INGWENYAMA SMVAF CUP OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

The unique competition that brings football and culture together was officially launched at the Sinncephetelo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF) Headquarters in Mbabane.  Present during this historic event was the Chairman of the competition Prince Hlangabeza ; Prince Bukhosi; Minister of Sports , Culture and Youth Affairs  Honourable Minister  David Ngcamphalala; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SMVAF Helmon Vilakati ; Vice President of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the Chairman of the Premier League of Eswatini just to mention but a few.

In his remarks, Prince Hlangabeza acknowledged His Majesty The King Mswati III for coming up with this unique competition as it perfectly combines football and culture. “We have to thank His Majesty The King for this competition as it enhances our culture which is our true identity as Emaswati”; he said. He also highlighted the importance of the combined effort by all stakeholders to this competition as its success was a team effort. He also urged the teams to put more effort as this is a big competition.

The Honerable Minister Harries Bulunga echoed the Prince’s words as he also acknowledged His Majesty The King Mswati III for this competition as the increase in its sponsorship package will motivate the teams to put more effort. He also stressed the importance of using sports to market the country considering the change of name from Swaziland to Eswatini. “This competition will provide a perfect platform to market the country internationally”; Bulunga said.

FOOTBALL TEAMS URGED TO COMPETE IN THE SPIRIT OF FAIR PLAY

The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) has urged football teams to compete in the spirit of fair play during football matches. This was said by the EFA Vice President Dr. comfort Shongwe and the Chairman of the PLE, Peter Magagula during the official launch of the Ingwenyama SMVAF Cup in Mbabane. “As the EFA, we encourage football teams to win and lose matches in the football pitch rather than running to courts”; Shongwe said. He also urged football teams to meet the standards of club licensing inorder for the local football to develop, thus the economy will also benefit as more people will be employed through the sport.

On the other hand the PLE Chairman, Peter Magagula said “As PLE, we encourage all football teams to compete in the spirit of fair play and accept results as they come”.

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