Sihlangu is currently in camp until next week Tuesday and the lads are happy about the progress thus far as they believe this training camp will help them in the long term as they prepare for the COSAFA Cup and CHAN qualifiers. “We are well looked after and the spirit is high”, said Sihlangu captain Lindo Mkhonta.
The captain’s words were echoed by Felix Badenhorst who stated that the spirit in camp reminds him of the memories when Sihlangu was being coached by the current Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Honourable Minister Harries Bulunga. “The spirit is high and it reminds me the time when the Head Coach was the Honourable Minister Harris Bulunga”, Badenhorst said. The shy speaking midfielder also expressed his desire to achieve with the national team. “What we can achieve as a team is a priority for me ; individual achievement can be a bonus”, Badenhorst said.
The nomination for the candidates of the EFA’s election to be implemented on the 27th June 2021 was officially closed on Thursday, 27th May 2021. This has led to the next stage which is the Eligibility check. This was disclosed by Dumsile Thomo who was accompanied by Josefa Bhembe who are the members of the EFA’s Ethics Committee. “The next stage to be embarked on is the Eligibility Check of all nominated Candidates as per the Electoral Code of 2021, which should be completed within six (06) days of the close of the nomination process”, Thomo said.
All the nominees are expected to access and complete the Eligibility Check Form at the EFA offices, which is an instrument that is meant to aid the verification exercise. “The Eligibility check is meant to aid the verification exercise by the Ethics Committee against the eligibility of nominees whether they do meet the requirements of the positions nominated for as per the FIFA, CAF statutes, Regulations and Guidelines, and in particular, the EFA Statutes Article 35(6) a)-f); Article 3597), (9); Article 40(2) and Article 41(5)”,Thomo stated.
The Candidates as per the Electoral Code of 2021 are obligated to duly complete this Candidature Eligibility Check, sign and submit it as an attachment to the nomination by the respective member association of EFA. This must be done by close of business on Monday, 31st May 2021, at the latest.
The Senior Men National Team’s (Sihlangu’s) Head Coach Dominic Kunene has named a 28 men squad that will report for a full time training camp on Sunday, 30th May 2021 at the Technical Centre in Lobamba. The last day of this training camp is Tuesday, 8th June 2021. Sihlangu will be using the upcoming FIFA international week to prepare for the upcoming competitions which include the 2023 Total Championship of African Nations (CHAN) Qualifiers and the 2021 COSAFA Cup edition. This international week is expected to conclude with the national team playing an international friendly match which is currently being organized. With the most immediate competition being the COSAFA Senior Cup 2021, this camp will accord the coaches to evaluate the levels of the players and team in general ahead of the camp on the last half of June 2021 for the COSAFA Cup. The players are as follows:
Sandanezwe Mathabela (Mbabane Swallows FC), Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Ncamiso Dlamini (Royal Leopards FC), Sanele Chauke (Green Mamba FC), Thabo Mngometulu (Green Mamba FC), Siboniso Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Lindo Mkhonta (Young Buffaloes FC), Sikhumbuzo Magagula (Royal Leopards FC), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopards FC), Mthunzi Motsa (Manzini Wanderers FC), Mzwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopards FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopards FC), Nhlanhla Ngwenya (Mbabane Swallows FC), Sabelo Gamedze (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Fanelo M,amba (Young Buffalloes FC), Wandile Shabangu (Young Buffaloes FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Khethokuhle Mkhontfo (Green Mamba FC), Njabulo Tfwala (Green Mamba FC), Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds FC), Bonginkhosi Dlamini (Royal Leopards FC), Phiwayinkhosi Dlamini (Young Buffaloes FC), Sidumo Dlamini (Royal Leopards FC), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Justice Figareido (TS Galaxy FC), Felix Badenhorst (TS Galaxy FC).
The initial focus for the Senior Women National Team’s (Sitsebe’s) on-going training camp was to prepare for the Total Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) match against Zimbabwe which was scheduled for June 2021 however the Confederation of African Football (CAF) postponed these matches to October 2021.
Sitsebe Head Coach Dumsani Makhanya has branded this postponement as a blessing. “The postponement of the qualifiers was a blessing for us as it provided us with more time to prepare for the future”, Makhanya said. Sitsebe is currently in camp preparing for the Total AWCON qualifiers and the COSAFA Cup. The Head Coach also acknowledged the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) for allowing the training camp to continue and also for the training to continue even after the full time camp as the national team will also flex the muscles on a weekly basis after the full time camp has ended. “This was a good decision by the EFA to allow this training camp to continue and also for the national team to train on a weekly basis after the full time training camp has ended”, Makhanya said.
The Head Coach also highlighted that the main focus of this training camp is on improving the physical fitness levels of the players as they last kicked a ball during last year’s edition of the COSAFA Cup. “As a technical team, we are focusing on improving the physical fitness levels of the players as they last played a competitive match during last year’s COSAFA Cup”, Makhanya said.
It seems that the on-going training camp for the Senior Women National Team (Sitsebe) will bear the desired results. This is due to the fact that the national team’s captain Nok’thula Dlamini has stated that as players they are responding very well to the coaches’ training programme. “We are responding very well to the coaches’s training programme as we are improving each day”, Dlamini said. The confident captain also echoed the Head Coaches’ words as she also attested that the postponement of the Total AWCON Qualifiers was a blessing for them as they will have more time to prepare for the future. “The postponement of the Total AWCON Qualifiers will help us as we will be more prepared for the upcoming competitions”, Dlamini said.
Eswatini Women National Team (Sitsebe) will continue with the full-time camp that commenced on Monday, 17th May 2021 at the Lobamba Technical Centre. This is despite the fact that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has cancelled the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2022 Qualifiers that were originally scheduled for June 2021.
Through a press statement EFA stated that the on-going full time camp and training programme will continue as per the initial plan. “This current development from CAF has no effect on the on-going full time camp and training programme of the Senior Women National Team (Sitsebe) as it will continue as per the initial plan”, read the statement. EFA also highlighted that this full time was also established as part of the preparations for the upcoming women competitions including the 2021 Women COSAFA Cup.
“This therefore implies that the national team will continue to be in full time camp as the camp was also established as a part of the preparations for the upcoming women competitions including the 2021 Women COSAFA Cup”, read the statement. An international friendly match will also be organised by EFA as part of the current training camp programme after which the players will be released to their respective football clubs to commence their domestic competitions duties.
As part of EFA’s effort in enabling a safe environment to play football; the Covid-19 testing of players has been finalised. This was the second test for football clubs under the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). “EFA confirms that all football clubs under the PLE and the relevant officials have now undergone the compulsory Covid-19 testing with no positive case recorded”; read a media statement from the EFA. The conclusion of this testing exercise automatically nullifies the applicability of any other previous Covid-19 test result as from other previous Covid-19 test result as from Friday, 21st May 2021, the EFA highlighted.
This implies that the football clubs and their players are expected to produce these new Negative Covid-19 Tests Certificates. “In view of the above football clubs and their players are expected to produce these new Negative Covid-19 Tests Certificates as of the above date in order to be allowed to play in the league matches scheduled under the auspices of the PLE”, read the statement. The football association also stated that the compliance to this new requirement will be key and the validity of the tests will remain until the next Covid-19 Testing Phase, which will be communicated in due course, as the EFA seeks to ensure the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, the public and stakeholders that football will be played under a safe Covid-19 environment.
The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini has allowed the return of national teams football, elite football and women football which was good music for the EFA and football family in the country. This has caused the EFA to acknowledge the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini for this decision. Even though football is gradually returning in the country, football fans are still not allowed in the stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EFA has assured Government that the COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to. “We promise to obey the COVID-19 protocols” said the General Secretary of the EFA, Mr Frederick Mngomezulu. He also highlighted that some of the COVID-19 protocols have been implemented in order to create a safe environment of playing the sport. “As part of obeying the COVID-19 protocols and also creating a safe environment for the players, officials and everyone involved implementation of a football match, the 2nd phase of testing for COVID-19 pandemic is being implemented”, Mngomezulu said. With this tests being done, the old COVILD-19 certificates will no longer be applicable.
Like a true father, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has presented 50 sets of referees’ uniforms to the Eswatini Football Association (ERA) to be used by elite referees in the country. According to the EFA’s General Secretary Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu, this initiative has been implemented by the football association for the past 2years. “For the past 2 years, the EFA has dressed the elite referees”, said Mngomezulu. The main aim for the EFA in presenting these uniforms to the referees is to make them presentable while they execute their duties. Mngomezulu also expressed the EFA’s hope regarding the usage of these uniforms. “We hope that the referees will take good care of the uniforms and we anticipate that this kind gesture from the EFA will also motivate them” said Mngomezulu.
Eswatini Referees Association (ERA) through her Chairman Mr. Sipho Kunene acknowledged the EFA for this kind gesticulation. “On behalf of the ERA, I would like to acknowledge EFA for these uniforms as they will play a great role in our refereeing duties” Kunene said. The Chairman also highlighted that as an association under the EFA they are very much humbled to EFA considering the unfavourable economic condition globally. Kunene expressed their wish as the ERA that such actions by the EFA can also be implemented by the Regional Football Association. “As ERA wish to offer such to regional referees thus we wish that the Regional Football Association can also implement what the EFA is doing for the referees.
On Sunday, 9th May 2021, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) held her Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) at the Happy Valley in Ezulwini and the main agenda item was the exposition and ratification of the EFA Electoral Code, the Ethics Committee and the EFA Appeals Boards. As the next Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) is an elective one, the assembly was expected to endorse the implementation of the ratification of the electoral code with the aim of applying it during the next OGA which is scheduled for Sunday, 27th June 2021.
The EFA Assembly decided to postpone this exercise by seven days after it emerged that the delegates did not have enough time to go through the EFA Electoral Code. Two motions were voted for before the implementation of this decision. The first one was “the EGA be postponed to convene after 7 days”; and the second one was “the EGA be postponed and the Executive Committee be given the latitude to determine the timeframe to reconvene the EGA”. The former motion got the majority votes thus the implementation of the meeting to be postponed for Sunday.