The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has congratulated MTN Eswatini on her 25th anniversary of doing business in Eswatini. “The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) takes this opportunity to congratulate MTN Eswatini on her milestone as she celebrates her 25th anniversary in the execution of her business in the country”, read a press statement from the EFA. It has been a fruitful journey for MTN Eswatini thus far as the organisation has immensely contributed towards the socio- economic development of the country.
“One of the main mandates of the existence of the EFA is the development of football in the country; and for this to be fulfilled; the EFA and the football family needs to have strong collaborations with other stakeholders in the economy” read the statement. MTN came through to invest in the development of football in 2003, and since then MTN Eswatini has been a true partner of football and this relationship has immensely contributed towards the maturity of the beautiful game and the football industry in Eswatini.
“As the sponsors of the elite league, which also has the ticket to the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League, MTN Eswatini has contributed a lot towards the preparedness of the football clubs who have represented the country in this tournament over the years, which also benefited the country’s tourism industry” read the statement. The latest football club to represent the country in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League was Green Mamba F.C. after being crowned the MTN PLE Champions for the 2022/2023 football season.
It was not a good start for the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati) in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers as Eswatini lost to Libya four days ago by 1-0 at the Mbombela Stadium. Sihlagu SeMnikati will play against the Blue Sharks on Tuesday afternoon with the aim of getting maximum points. This will be the third time these two national teams meet in a space of six months as they played back-to-back matches this year during the TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 Qualifiers where Eswatini held Cabo Verde on their own backyard by playing to a barren draw only to lose 1-0 on the second leg that was played at the Mbombela Stadium.
When speaking to the members of the media on the eve of the match, Sihlangu SeMnikati Head Coach, Dominic Kunene attested that it will be a tough match as Cabo Verde is a good and pacey side. “We expect tough match as they are a good and quick side”, Kunene said. The head coach also highlighted that they have a good game plan for the Blue Sharks as they want to create more goal scoring opportunities whilst protecting their goal. “We have to create more goal scoring opportunities and also protect our goal”, Kunene said.
The national team captain Sifiso ‘Ayoba’ Matse promised the Eswatini Nation that they will score and win the match. “We will score and win the match,” Matse said. Eswatini has been shy in front of goal for the past three recent matches against Burkina Faso, South Africa, and Libya.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) in collaboration with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is currently executing the Club Licensing Online Platform (CLOP) National Workshop at Esibayeni Lodge in Matsapha. This workshop was officially opened by the EFA President Mr. Peter Simelane. Speaking during the official opening ceremony, the Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’S) President has encouraged the football clubs and the associated bodies to the implementation of the club licensing system regulations and online platform. “As EFA, we therefore encourage the football clubs and the associated bodies to the implementation of the club licensing system regulations and online platform, to empower themselves through this workshop, to create a better understanding of the mandatory criteria”, he said.
He further sent EFA’S gratitude to CAF for implementing this workshop. “Supreme gratitude, therefore, is hereby expressed to CAF, for this workshop. We know that CAF is bringing about many football development initiatives to improve all aspects of the game of football across this confederation,” he added.
CAF Instructor Mr. Dasoberi Emmanuel speaking on behalf of the other instructors highlighted that they are very much honoured for the invite and to be part of this workshop. “We are very much honoured and privileged to be here and be part of this workshop. I hope the participants will benefit a lot from it”, he said. He also highlighted that the online platform project has come to stay.
One child will have an early Christmas as the player of the tournament for the Build it U13 Football development Programme will get E10 000 bursary for his school fees for the next academic year. The finals for this football development programme will be implemented on Saturday, 11th November 2023 at the Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini. This good news were confirmed by the Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) President, Mr. Peter Simelane. “The player of the tournament will get E10 000 bursary for the next academic year”. In his remarks, EFA President expressed his appreciation on behalf of the organisation and the football family to Build it for her investment towards football development in the country. “On behalf of the EFA and football family at large, I would like to acknowledge Build it for her investment towards football development in the country over the years. EFA and the football family at large will always remain indebted to Build it,” Simelane said. He also highlighted the significance of this football development programme to the economy of the country. “This investment does not only benefit football as a sport, but also contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country, thus EFA urges the public to support Build it as her investment towards football development is an indication that she has the future of this country’s football at heart. This programme also plays a vital role in shaping the future of football. It goes beyond horning technical skills; as it plants values and foster the passion for the game to the young talent. It acts as an entry level for the national team football as the U13 national team players come from this programme”, Simelane said.
Build it Retail Operations Manager Loeki Niekerk expressed Build it’s happiness in investing to this football development programme. “We are truly blessed to continue investing in the passion that unites us all, the beautiful game”, Niekerk said. He also highlighted that the success of this programme is a testament of the spirit of development. “The success of this project is nothing short of amazing. It is testament to the true spirit of development”, Niekerk said. Build it is also happy in witnessing the progress of players who began their journey in this project. Currently the national team that has been named by the head coach, Domonic Kunene has 3 players who are the products of this football development programme. They are Kwakhe Tfwala, Neliswa Dlamini, and Khanyakwezwe Shabalala.
The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach, Dominic Kunene has named a 23-player squad for the preparations of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Cape Verde and Libya. These matches will be played during the November 2023 FIFA International break that will commence from the 13th – 21st November 2023. The players are as follows:
Ncamiso Dlamini (Royal Leopard F.C.), Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Xolani Gama (Green Mamba F.C.).
Samkeliso Ginidza (IIlovo F.C.), Sibongakonkhe Silenge (Green Mamba F.C.), Smanga Masangane (Royal Leopard F.C.), Vusi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Kwakhe Thwala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Mxolisi Manana (Green Mamba F.C.), Philiso Newman (Mbabane Swallows F.C.).
Mzwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopard F.C.), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard F.C.), Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Sizolwethu Shabalala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Andile Gadlela (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Njabulo Magagula (Green Mamba F.C.), Neliswa Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows F.C.)
Sabelo Ndzinisa (Green Mamba F.C.), Philani Mkhontfo (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.0, Justice Figuaredo (Richards Bay F.C.0, Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds F.C.), Neliso Myeni (Nsingizini Hotspurs F.C.)
The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu SeMnikati) held a full South Africa Senior Men’s National Team (Bafana Bafana) to a goalless draw in an international friendly match that was played on Friday evening at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. On paper, it made people to think Bafana Bafana will have an easy day in office as they paraded experienced players who some of them play their club football overseas whilst most of them play for top clubs in the money spinning DSTV. Sihlangu SeMnikati had other plans for Bafana Bafana as they were able to deal with the pressure from the South Africans.
In the opening minutes of the match, Bafana Bafana was all over Eswatini with the likes of Lyle Foster who play his club football in the English Premiership and Khanyisa Moyo being threatful. The Eswatini defence stood its ground as they were able to grow in confidence as the match progressed thus neutralising the attacks from Bafana Bafana.
The referee blew the half time whistle with no national team breaking the deadlock. In the second half, Eswatini continued to absorb the pressure from Bafana Bafana with the plan of catching them on the counter- attack. Sihlangu was able to create some scoring chances during this half with Mxolisi Mkhontfo being the main culprit of not giving the Eswatini side the lead. Dominic Kunene who is Sihlangu SeMnikat head coach made two substitutes as he introduced Neliswa Dlamini and Sizolwethu Shabalala for Philani Mkhotfo and Njabulo Magagula respectively. The best chance for Eswatini came in the added minutes when Sizolwethu Shabalala nearly punished Bafana Bafana from a Bongwa Matsebula pass unfortunately it was blocked by Nkosinathi Sibisi for a corner. The referee blew the final whistle with the score board still reading 0-0 to the frustration of Bafana Bafana. The nest match for Sihlangu will be against Botswana at the Lobatse Sports Complex on Monday, 16th October 2023 and kick-off is at 1600hrs.
The Senior Women’s National Team (Sitsebe SaMhlekazi) will be in action this Saturday in the Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s Championship 2023 against Malawi at the Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg. The national team head coach Zwelibanzi “Botsotso” Khoza is expecting a tough match against Malawi who also won their first match against the hosts South Africa by 4-3. “The Malawians are tough as they are physically strong and tactically sound,” said Khoza. The head coach is also keeping his fingers crossed in as far as the match fitness of three key players who are having some injuries. These are Badelisile Ngozo (hip), Tenanile Ngamphalala (hip) and Sebenzile Mavuso (ankle). The medical team is working around the clock in making sure that these players are available for selection before kick-off. Having said that, the coaches is optimistic that the national team can get good results from Saturday’s match. “South Africa was able to score three goals and we can also do likewise,” Khoza said.
The coach’s words were echoed by the workaholic midfielder Mazwi Dube who confidently stated that they will play well against Malawi. “We will play well as we will close the gaps and match the Malalwians. We will fight as a team for the whole match as we are aiming for the knock-out stages of this tournament,” Dube said.
This match will be live on the FIFA+ platform, SuperSport, and SABC Sports and kick-off is at 12 noon.
The Senior Women’s National Team (Sitsebe SaMhlekazi) fought back to beat Madagascar 2:1 in the 2023 Hollywoodbets COSAFA Women’s championship. The game was played at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville (Pretoria).
Madagascar took the lead through Rina Raharimalala in the 28th minute. The Malagasy national team were the threatning side in the first half as they also hit the cross bar once with Gcinile Dlamini being the busiest goalkeeper. Eswatini did create some scoring opportunities in this half could not find the back of the net.
Eswatini fought back in the second half and scored the equalizer through Tenanile Ngcamphalala Ngcamphalala after looping the ball over an advancing Anastaste Soanorino in the Madagascar’s goal. This was after a clinical pass from the workaholic Mazwi Dube of Eswatini. Sikhanyiso Magagula guaranteed Eswatini the maximum points after she scored Eswatini’s second goal from an assist by player of the match Tenanile Ngcamphalala in the 81st minute. Madagascar tried tried to at least salvage a point from this match up until the referees blew the final whistle of the match.
The next match for Eswatini will be against on Saturday, 7th October 2023 at the Dobsonville Stadium and kick-off is at 1530 hrs.
The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach has named a tentative squad that will commence training on Monday 2nd October 2023 at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba. The national team will implement these training sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays per week up until the execution of the international friendly matches whose details will be availed in due course. These training sessions and the friendly matches are part of the national team’s preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to be played in November 2023. The tentative squad is as follows:
Khanyakwezwe Shabalala (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Ncamiso Dlamini (Royal Leopards FC), Colani Gama (Green Mamba F.C.)
Delisa Gama (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Sibongakinkhe Silenge (Green Mamba F.C.), Simanga Masangane (Royal Leopard F.C.), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard F.C.), Philiso Newman (Mbabane Swallows F.C), Samkelo Ginindza (Moneni Pirates F.C.), Mcolisi Manana (Green Mamba F.C.), Vusi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.)
Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard F.C.), Mzwandile Mabelesa (Mbabane Highlanders F.C.), Bongiswa Dlamini (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Neliswa Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Ayanda Gadlela (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Kwakhe Tfwala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.)
Mxolisi Mkhontfo (Green Mamba F.C.), Njabulo Magagula (Green Mamba F.C.), Ali Matse (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes F.C.), Sizolwethu Shabalala (Mbabane Swallows F.C.), Neliso Myeni (Nsingizini Hotspurs F.C.), Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds F.C.)
The Senior Women National Team conceded three goals in the first half of the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier Match against Burkina Faso in a match that looked like the west Africans were going to have it easy against the Eswatini Senior Women’s National Team in a match that was played on Wednesday afternoon at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba. It was not a good start for the local girls as they committed a lot of errors at the back and they were punished by the Burkinabe. The was a lot of panicking from Sitsebe as they also lost the ball easily; however, splendid saves by the goalkeeper, Khanyisile Mvubu maintained the scoreline at 3-0 in favour of Barkina Faso at half time. burkina Faso scored their goals through Alimata (16th), Rasmata (18th), and Mouniratou (31st).
It was in the second half that Eswatini displayed a better performance as they were able to get more possession of the ball. An early second half goal by Samkelisiwe Simelane in the 48th minutes gave the Eswatini side some hope that they can come back. Sitsebe SaMhlekazi was able to share the ball and made more transitional passes that were able to unlock the defence of the Burkinabe defence. Celiwe Nkambule misses a glorious chance to reduce the deficit to one goal after his thunderous shot went over the crossbar with the goalkeeper to beat. Eswatini finally reduced the deficit by one goal after scoring the second goal through Tenanile Ngcamphalala in the 88th minute. Eswatini gained more confidence and created more chances unfortunately couldn’t find the back of the net.
The referee blew the final whistle of the match with the scoreline at 3-2 in favour of Burkina Faso. Both national teams will play again on Tuesday, 26th September 2023 in Ivory Coast.