The preparations have been done and now is the implementation time as Sihlangu play against Somalia in the preliminary rounds of the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifiers for the finals to be played in Ivory Coast in June/July 2022. Sihlangu is confident in getting positive results against Somalia and proceed to the group stages of this qualifiers. The national team will play against Somalia in Tanzania on Wednesday, 23rd March 2022.
“It will be a tough match but we will do our best to win the match”, said Sihlangu Head Coach Dominic Kunene. He also highlighted that the players are psychologically, physically and tactically ready for the match of which playing away from home won’t affect them. “The players are ready psychologically, physically and tactically of-which playing away from home will not affect them”, Kunene said. He also stated that he will have all the players that he needs for this match including the foreign based players.
His words were echoed by Sihlangu skipper Lindo Mkhonta who also said that as players they are ready for Somalia and their focus is now on Wednesday’s match. “We ready for Wednesday match and our focus is on this match as we want positive results”, Mkhonta said. The captain also asked the nation to support the national team in either way more especially spiritually as they will be away from home. The national team will leave the country on Monday for Tanzania.
The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries Bulunga has officially launched the Pick’nPay/EFA Kick-off 2022 which is an U15 Football Development Programme which is targeted to both boys and girls. This programme’s sponsorship package is worth E807 090.00.
In his address, the Honourable Minister stated that this football development programme has the potential of becoming game changer and turning point for local football. “This launch here this morning truly is a momentous occasion and one that has the potential of providing to becoming a game changer and turning point for local football”, Bulunga said. In emphasising the significance of such programmes, the Honourable Minister highlighted that this programme was what our football has been crying out for. “This Pick 'n Pay -EFA Programme is exactly what our football has been crying out for”, Bulunga said.
“Such early identification of talent is critical in making sure that players can then be put in well-planned nurturing system, ensuring that their rough talents are polished and refined to maximum impact when they reach the elite levels. Not only that, but this programme will go to assist in bridging the gap that has long existed between elite level and grassroots football”, the Honourable Minister said. He was also ecstatic that this football development programme includes the girl child which will contribute immensely towards the women sport development programmes in the country. “Perhaps the standout feature of this programme is its equal focus on both girls and boys, ensuring that, for once, our girls are not left behind in sport development. From today onwards, we are taking the girl child with us in football”, Bulunga said.
The President of the EFA Mr. Peter Simelane expressed the organization’s delight in this partnership with P 'n P as it will address the gap in as far as the football development programmes are concerned. “This development is coherent with our association’s resolution of pioneering extensive and comprehensive improvements in the sporting industry as we strive to constantly deliver products abd services that will expedite football development and ultimately national growth. The U15 age category has been observed as a glaring gap in the development of players as you would normally observe some programmes at U13 and U17. This U15 project will therefore bridge this significant gap in the player development pathway”, Simelane said.
P 'n P Lojaf’s Retail Executive Mr. Nuno Xavier concurred with the EFA’s President as he also highlighted that this football development programme will reduce the huge gap in as far as football development is concerned. “The EFA needs partners to implement her mandate to structure, develop, promote and deliver quality football to all stakeholders in Eswatini, hence the proposal to Lojaf Pick ‘n Pay to invest in football development”, Xavier said. He also stated that, this programme will satisfy both the business objectives of P ‘n P and the technical development objectives of EFA.
This annual football development programme will commence on the 23rd April and ends on the 17st September 2021 and will also be implemented concurrently with the in-store promotions by P 'n P as part of it. A total of 80 teams will be participating from 10 zones aof the EFA where the P ‘n P Stores are located. These stores are Mashayitafula, The Crescent, The Gables, Mahhala, Riverstone, The Hub, Malkerns, Nhlangano, Mbabane and Siteki.
The TOTALEnergies AFCON preliminary round qualifiers' draw has been implemented and Eswatini will play against Somalia in a two-legged encounter between the 21st and the 29th of March 2022. The aggregate winners will proceed to the group stages of the TotalEnergies 2023 AFCON Qualifiers. The finals will be played in Cote d'Ivoire.
All members and stakeholders of EFA are hereby informed that the EFA Headquarters (Sigwaca House) will on Friday, 17th December 2021, close for the festive period and reopen for the New Year, 2022, on Thursday, 6th January 2022. This also applies to the National Technical Centre in Lobamba and the associated facilities.
EFA unequivocally values the collaboration, tolerance and maturity evidenced by the football family and its stakeholders during this Covid-19 infested environment, which most authoritatively delayed the onset of the current 2021/2022 season. EFA, consequently takes this prospect to wish her members, their staff, officials, players and stakeholders in the scenic of football, a Merry Christmas and affluence in 2022, whilst encouraging all, in the interim and prospectively as a threshold, to commit to placing their respective lives and that of football participants and associated society first, as we continue to execute football competitions and activities countrywide in order to contribute in the mitigation of the spread and adverse effects of the resurgent Covid-19 fourth (4th ) wave, as we patiently contest and hope for a Covid-19 free environment prospectively.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has issued guidelines on the implementation of Regional Football Association’s Competition. Pursuant to the resumption of the Regional Football Associations’ Competitions, all participating teams, their players and officials of the regional leagues, competitions, will be subject to the mandatory screening of the Covid-19 as per the directives of the EFA Medical Committee.
It is expected that Regional Football Associations request for the implementation of Covid-19 workshops for all groups of teams, as they resume their competitions matches for the 2021/2022 season. The competition organizers are urged to assure the observance of the Covid-19 protocols during the implementation of matches.
The EFA also reminds the relevant stakeholders about the significance of placing the respective lives of football participants and associated personnel through the observance of all basic protocols for the mitigation of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, which is now resurgent through the Covid-19 fourth (4th) wave.
The Council of South African Football Association (COSAFA) has approved Eswatini as the host of the COSAFA U20 Youth Championship (CYC Eswatini) thus in readiness of this tournament the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has embark in numerous preparatory activities which amongst others is the readiness of the infrastructure to be used for this international youth championship.
EFA has announced the closure of the Mavuso Sports Centre, Kalanga Technical Centre, Sigwaca House Conference Hall and the Technical Centre in Lobamba. As a result of this, EFA Membership is advised to seek for alternative venues and facilities for any matches and associated business that may become applicable during the implementation of the CYC which is scheduled between the 10th -18th December 2021.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has acknowledged the role played by the Coach Educators towards the development of football in the country. “The Coach Educators ’participation and supportive role to the development of football is very much beneficial as they are tasked with continued training of our coaches in the country”, said EFA Vice President Mr. Steve Horton. He highlighted this during the official closure of the FIFA Educators’ Course on Saturday at the Thokoza Church Centre.
“As I look at you, I see the growth of football coaching profession in the country as you are fully equipped to go out there and invest the knowledge that you got from this course to upcoming coaches”, Horton said. He also reminded the Coach Educators about the huge task that lie ahead as they execute their duties.
“As you graduate from this course you must know that there is a lot of work that lies ahead as this is not the end of the road but the beginning as football is a dynamic sport which requires a lot of research in order for one to be always relevant to the sport”, Horton highlighted. He also stated EFA’s commitment in the implementation of similar courses as a way of enhancing their competence.
The FIFA Educators’ Course that was implemented as from Tuesday, 23rd -27th November 2021 was a huge success as nineteen (19) coaches graduated from this course that was facilitated by the South African born FIFA Instructor, Mr. Frans Mogashoa. In his closing remarks, EFA Vice President Mr. Steve Horton acknowledged the FIFA Instructor for the facilitation of this course. “May I commence my speech by expressing the EFA’s and football family’s sincere appreciation to our FIFA Instructor and expert for facilitating this course which will play a huge role in the development of our football” Horton said.
He also highlighted that this course had a positive impact to Eswatini football as EFA is now looking upon the participants of this course ton develop the local coaches in the country. “Once the coaches are properly developed, there will be a positive compartment in the identification, nurturing and development of talent from grassroots level which will result in the production of quality players”, Horton said.