Today, Friday 19th November 2021 marks the closure of the 1st Window Registration Period for football clubs under the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) which is not the case for members under the Regional FAs and Women Football Association (WFA) as their 1st Window Registration period has extended to Friday, 3rd December 2021.
This exclusive extension contemplates the undercurrent relaxed restrictions pronounced to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 as the clubs under the Regional FAs and WFA were allowed late to resume their football competitions and the considerations of inherent varying administrative preparations to execute the affected leagues. “All football clubs in the membership of the above outlined leagues are therefore expected to have concluded their registration business by the new stipulated deadline (3rd December 2021)” highlighted the EFA through a circular sent to the membership.
The Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harris Bulunga has officially launched the MTN PLE 2021/2022 Season where we witnessed the implementation of the elite football sponsorship worth Six Million Emalangeni (E6 Million). This is an investment that the telecommunication company is investing to the nation at large, not to the football industry per se as it covers a lot of ground in as far as the economy of the country is concerned.
During the launch, the Honourable Minister elaborated His Majesty’s Government’s acknowledgement to MTN Eswatini for her investment to the nation. “We therefore view such an investment by MTN Eswatini not just an investment to football but an investment to all emaSwati”, Bulunga said. He also urged all football stakeholders to work as a team in order for this football season to be a success. “I now take this moment to encourage all football stakeholders to work together in harmony and in the true spirit of the game to deliver a football season to remember”, Bulunga said.
Football is a sport that is known for touching lives and unifying people; thus, the Honourable Minister emphasised the great potential that the beautiful game can play in unifying the country. “As our country prepares for a National Dialogue as announced by His Majesty King Mswati III, sport, and football in particular, has a big role to play in helping the country rebuild, recover and foster unity among our people”, Bulunga said.
MTN Eswatini has done it again as the telecommunication network company continues to invest towards the development of football in the country. With a sponsorship of Six Million Emalangeni (E6 Million) on the table, the honours are now on the football teams to go for the Championship.
“As MTN Eswatini we are proud to be the sponsor of the MTN PLE 2021/2022 football season and as an organisation we say to the football teams, #Go4It”, said MTN Eswatini CEO Mr. Wandile Mtshali. As a reaction to this sponsorship, the EFA President Mr. Peter Simelane expressed the football family’s gratitude to MTN for this sponsorship despite the current Covid-19 environment. “May I commence my statement, by expressing our genuine gratitude to MTN, who despite the current Covid-19 environment having afflicted the world, have continued for to invest in the game of football”, Simelane said when delivering his speech during the launch of the 2021/2022 MTN PLE season. He also stated the EFA’s delight as a result of this renewed investment by MTN as it will provide a perfect platform for the football teams as they will continue to compete and most importantly assure the continued development of the game.
The TotalEnergies CAF Women Champions League will kick-off today in Cairo, Egypt where the clubs who are the zonal champions of this competition will compete for in the supreme interclub women championship. Eswatini is also represented in this competition as Letticia Antonella Viana is one of the match officials for this competition which will end on the 19th November 2021. She will be the first Eswatini referee to officiate in this competition after successfully competing the CAF Elite A Women Refereeing Course that was implemented in Cairo, Egypt as from the 1st – 5th November 2021.
She became one of the match officials after successfully completing the CAF Elite A Women Refereeing Course that was implemented in Cairo, Egypt as from the 1st -5th November 2021. Some of the topics for this course included the VAR usage and the physical fitness test to mention but a few. “This was a practical oriented course and I got an opportunity to officiate matches while working with VAR which was a good experience”, Viana said.
“People who become better in life are those who when they get knowledge; use it in their daily work”, said EFA President Mr. Peter Simelane. A total of twenty participants are being empowered by FIFA as the EFA continues with her preparations of the commencement of the new football season.
The EFA President highlighted about the significance of assessors in football development as they playa very crucial role, and as such their critical understanding of the elements of the game of football that affect refereeing is very essential. “Assessors are therefore requested to pay attention to all the information to the delivered in this course, so that they can be better assessors that can uplift the flag of the country both locally and internationally”, Simelane said.
The FIFA Instructor who is facilitating this course, Mr. Ali Mohammed Ahmed from Somalia stated that the easier route for the country to be represented in the FIFA World Cup is by having a referee officiating in this competition. “It is easier to send a referee to the World Cup Finals than a whole team”, Ahmed said. This course started on Monday and will end on Friday, 15th October 2021.
The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Executive Committee has decided that the 2021/22 football season will commence on the weekend of the 8th /9th /10th October 2021 with the Regional Super Leagues and other Regional Leagues to commence most probable from the 6th /7th November 2021 subject to the contemporary engagements with the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini on the execution of the lower leagues.
As for the lower leagues, communication will be implemented in due course. “A direction on the implementation of youth and development competitions will be communicated in due course, considering the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic and any other impending factors”, said EFA’s General Secretary Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu.
In implementing the 2021/22 football season, EFA will remain in conformity with the guiding principle of placing the health of football stakeholders as a priority. “EFA has to remain in conformity with the guiding principle the health of all individuals, groups and clubs, who participate in the game of football at various level first”, Mngomezulu said. EFA has already collaborated with Government in piloting a very imaginative Covid-19 vaccination vigor that can aid to reunite all football participants and stakeholders with the game of football at all level.
“EFA hereby directs EFA members and their respective leagues to consequently engage with their respective sponsors and pertinent partners on this development to finalize the logistics of commencement and implementation of the 2021/22 season.
The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) is currently implementing a FIFA MA Refereeing Course at Sigwaca House in Mbabane. This course commenced on Monday, 20th September 2021. The are twenty-eight participants for this course and they are elite referees. The main objective of this course is to sharpen the skills of the football referees, technically and physically.
When opening the course, Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) President Mr. Peter Simelane described this course as essential. “This assignment is very essential”, Simelane highlighted. He also sent EFA’s gratitude to FIFA for implementing this course. “Supreme gratitude is hereby expressed to FIFA for this FIFA MA Refereeing Course”, Simelane said.
The facilitators for this course are Mr. Mark Mzengo and Mr. Jerome Damon who are FIFA Refereeing Instructors. When making his remarks, Mr. Jerome Damon stated his believe that Eswatini Referees have the potential of officiating football matches at the FIFA World Cup level. “Eswatini Referees have the potential to officiate at the FIFA World Cup Finals”, Damon said.
It’s match day for two Eswatini teams in the Total Energies Interclubs Competitions as Young Buffaloes FC and Royal Leopards FC will be in action on Saturday afternoon. The former will play against Red Arrows FC at the Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini whilst the latter will play against Zesco United FC at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola. Young Buffaloes FC will need a minimum of a 1-0 win whilst a barren draw for Royal Leopards FC will guarantee them qualifications to the next round of the Total Energies CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup respectively. Royal Leopard FC won the first leg encounter on home soil last week by 1-0 whilst Young Buffaloes FC lost away from home by 2-1 in Lusaka. Both matches will kick-off at 1500hrs.
Royal Leopard FC is one foot into the next round of the Total Energies CAF Champions League after winning the first leg against Zesco United FC on home turf at the Mavuso Sports Centre. The Eswatini side now need a minimum of a goalless draw to proceed to the next round where they could play either against GD Sagrada Esperancia (Angola) or FC Platinum (Zimbabwe). “It was a tough match at home even though we missed three clear scoring chances however, we will rectify our mistakes and finish the job in Ndola on Saturday”, said Royal Leopards FC head coach Edwin Matsebula.
His counterpart Numba Mamamba shared a similar sentiment as he also vowed that his team will finish the task in Zambia regardless of losing the away fixture against Royal Leopard FC. “We created good scoring chances however we didn’t convert them into goals however, we will accept the results and pick ourselves up in the return match in Ndola”, Mamamba said.
Both sides are due to play against each other at the levy Mwanawasa Stadium on Saturday at 1500hrs.
Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success. It seems like this is the ‘tactic’ that Royal Leopard FC and Zesco United FC have applied for the Total Energies CAF Champions Leagues match to be played on Saturday, 11th September 2021 at the Mavuso Sports Centre. Kick-off for this match is at 1500hrs (3:00 p.m.).
During the pre-match press conference held on the eve of the match at the matchday venue, Royal Leopard FC head coach Edwin Matsebula confidently stated that his team is ready for this match. “We have done our preparations and we are ready for the match”, Matsebula said. His words were echoed by the team’s captain Muzi Dlamini who also highlighted their readiness for this match. “We prepared for almost a month for this fixture and we are more than ready”, Dlamini said.
Zesco United FC’s head coach, Numba Mamamba also stated his team’s readiness for this international match. “We have done everything possible to make sure that the team is ready”, Mumamba said. He also added that that the team is here to play not to defend. Ït is going to be a good game as we are here to play not to defend”, Mumamba said. Zesco United FC’s captain, Jesse Were who will play against Eswatini side for the second time after previously playing against Mbabane Swallows FC highlighted that they are here to fight. “We are here to fight as a team and at least get an away goal”, Were said.
The second leg for between this teams will be played next week in Zambia with the aggregate winner proceeding to the next round of the Total Energies CAF Champions League.