The Eswatini Bank Managing Director (MD) Zakhele Lukhele has urged the football teams who will be competing in the 2019 ESwatini Bank Solo Inje to display quality football. “If all teams give it their all to become champions, then football fans will watch competitive and quality football, and at the end football will be the winner. I would like to urge all participating teams to do their best to be champions”; said Lukhele during the official launch of the U20 Eswatini Bank Cup.
This year’s sponsorship package is E240 000.00 with the champions getting E45 000.00. This shows a E20 000.00 increase from the previous edition.
The Eswatini Football association (EFA) through the Vice President Comfort Shongwe has eulogized the Eswatini Bank on her role in the development of football in the country. “As EFA and football family, we sincerely express our gratitude to Eswatini Bank for her investment in the development of football in the country as this in in line with the EFA’s strategic plan”; Shongwe said. He also emphasized that the development aspect of the game is very much key for the future of the chief sport in the world.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.