The Eswatini Football Association President Mr. Peter Simelane met with the members of the media on Tuesday afternoon where he updated them about the current EFA business. This gathering was held at Sigwaca House in Mbabane and it provided a perfect opportunity for the media to ask the EFA President and the General Secretary about the overall EFA business.
In his remarks, the EFA President highlighted on issues that touched on governance, infrastructure, football development programmes and national teams.
Under this item, the President assured the media that the EFA is properly governed as the is a constitution and policies in place. “The EFA have a constitution and policies that guide the governance of the organisation”, Simelane said. He also alluded that the EFA is currently developing a four-year strategic plan. As for the management of finances as most of the EFA funds come from FIFA; the President stated that the organisation applies the FIFA Forward Regulations and the Contract of Agreed Objectives. Also, the organisation is being audited twice a year. “As most of the funds comes from FIFA, the EFA applies the FIFA Forward Regulations and the Contract of Agreed Objectives. The organisation is also audited twice per year and that being the internal audit and the central review”, Simelane said. He also highlighted that the sourcing of sponsorships is a priority for the organisation when it comes to revenue generation in order to maximise the implementation of football development programmes like the execution of the U20 COSAFA Cup that was successfully hosted last year. “Sponsorships are key when it comes to revenue generation as it enhances the execution of football development programmes as you may recall that last year we had sponsors that assisted us during the execution of the U20 COSAFA Cup”, the EFA President said. “It must also be noted that yearly, the organisation hosts a General Assembly where it reports about the activities and finances to the Delegates” Simelane said.
The EFA President highlighted that the infrastructure development is very key in as far as football development is concerned. “Infrastructure development is very important when it comes to football development. The EFA have its Head Office and commercial wing in Mbabane, Technical Centre in Lobamba, Nhlangano and Mkhuzweni which is almost ready for usage”, Simelane said. The next project will be the construction of another technical centre in Manzini. The issue of grandstands is something that the EFA is considering as some of the technical centres are used for the execution of competitions due to the insufficient facilities in the country.
Football Development Programmes
Football development is the main mandate of the EFA. Most of the football development programmes were disturbed by the Covid-19 pandemic; however, they are now steadily coming back. “ Post Covid, football development programmes are back. These are the Build it U13 Football Development Programme, Pick n Pay U15 Football Development Programme, U20 Girls’ Schools Development Programme amongst others”, Simelane Said. The EFA is also funding the U19 PLE League and the Women Football League.
The EFA President stated that the national teams are active. When it comes to the selection of players for the national teams, the EFA President highlighted that the coaches choose the players autonomously. “We don’t interfere in the selection of the players for any national team, Simelane said.
The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu) has commenced the preparations for the upcoming TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifier match against Togo. This match will be played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, South Africa on Sunday, 18th June 2023, and kick-off is at 1700hrs (5:00 p.m.) local time. For this full-time training camp which is implemented at the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba, the head coach Dominic Kunene has called a 26-player squad. These players are:
Ncamiso Dlamini (Royal Leopard FC), Sibusiso Dlamini Nsingizini Hotspurs FC), Colani Gama (Green Mamba FC)
Lindo Mkhonta (Zesco United FC), Simanga Masangane (Royal Leopard FC), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Siboniso Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Siyabonga Silenge (Green Mamba FC), Mcolisi Manana (Green Mamba FC), Vusi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Lucky Gamedze (Madlenya FC)
Mwandile Mabelesa (Royal Leopard FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Neliso Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows FC), Kwakhe Tfwala (Mbabane Highklanders FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes FC), Mcolisi Mkhontfo (Green Mamba FC), Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Philani Mkhontfo (Mbabane Highlanders FC)
Mthokozisi Gwebu (Manzini Sea Birds), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Green Mamba FC), Njabulo Magagula (Green Mamba FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Fanelo Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC)
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and FIFA+, the new one-stop digital destination for football fandom, have teamed up to take Eswatini football to the world. As part of its mission to give fans engaging and innovative ways of interacting with the beautiful game, FIFA+ offers free access to live football action from every corner of the globe, which now includes matches from the Premier League of Eswatini and the Eswatini National Women Football League.
The platform, which is available on the web, as a mobile app and on select connected devices, and is now accessible in ten languages, represents a ground-breaking approach to showcasing live football from men’s, women’s and youth leagues and cups to a global audience.
The EFA Chief Executive Officer and General Secretary, Frederick Mngomezulu, has expressed a note of delight at this novel extension into the data and digital space of the marketing of the game of football in the country, more particularly the universal coverage of Eswatini’s domestic competitions, which not only augurs well with EFA’s objective to grow the game by assimilating new technological advancements but also promotes the Eswatini game globally, a first to happen, which will bring the exposure and prospective economic platform which had otherwise been missing.
Charlotte Burr, Director of Strategy & Digital for FIFA, said: “For the first time ever, our MAs can seamlessly tap into a truly global football fan base and grow a direct relationship with it on a daily basis. We are proud to work side by side with Eswatini Football Association and are excited about helping to really grow the game across Eswatini and beyond.”
Since its launch, FIFA+ has steadily expanded its reach and added exciting new content streams in order to deliver a truly multifaceted digital experience.
Completely free, the platform offers an extensive archive (including all men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup™ matches), thousands of live fixtures every year, interactive games and predictors, and a slate of original documentaries, docuseries, talk shows and shorts.
By the end of 2023, FIFA+ will be streaming over 20,000 live games per year from more than 100 MAs across all six confederations, including thousands of women’s matches. FIFA+ provides live coverage ranging from Europe’s topflight leagues to previously unserved competitions from around the world in men’s, women’s and youth football. FIFA+ can be accessed worldwide at fifaplus.com and on major app stores.
One American lawyer, Wendell Willkie once said "Education is the mother of leadership". Along those lines, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) is currently implementing her first-ever Technical Leadership Diploma in a Granja Comary Training Centre in Brazil which commenced on the 11th of May 2023. The participants of this football development programme were chosen on a global basis and there are 24 participants including Eswatini Football Association’s Technical Director (TD) Bhekisisa Mkhonta. This initial onsite learning period will end on the 16th May 2023 and will be followed by 3 further onsite blocks, with comprehensive distance and self-directed learning between each block. The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma is a globally recognised qualification designed to create an industry standard and offer recognition of competence. It is a unique approach to development that encompasses the various discipline within the technical leadership role. This football development programme will help to prepare the participants for distinct challenges and opportunities presented by Technical Leaders (TLs) within the football association. It is designed to create a generation of transformational leaders who are influencers, decision-makers, and change agents. This programme offers recognition of knowledge, understanding and competence, and bring professional value to the role of being a TL.
The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma is a level 6 accredited vocational qualification awarded by Transcend Awards, developed in partnership with FIFA and regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). The Ofqual regulation means that the qualification is recognized globally. A Technical Leader (TL) needs to be adaptable in fulfilling their management responsibility to deliver short term results, while also working strategically towards long term development. The FIFA Technical Leadership Diploma will help in preparing the participants for the distinct challenges and opportunities presented by the technical leadership role and the Member Association (MA).
One Swedish proverb says “Those who wish to sing always find a song”. Two former national team players were able to find the perfect song on Saturday after watching the football matches that were played at the Manzini Club under the banner of the Build it U13 Football Development Programme where Mphola Celtics were crowned champions.
Former Senior National Team captain, Jerry ‘Mbazo’ Gamedze and Sifiso ‘Haiso’ Dlamini acknowledged both the EFA and Build it for the perfect execution of this football development programme which has unearthed a lot of talent over the years which include players like Kwakhe Thwala who plays for Mbabane Swallows FC and the national team, and Mayibonwe Mabuza who is currently playing for Nsingizini Hotspurs FC and the U20 Men’s National Team to mention but a few.
“The Eswatini child deserves such initiatives and I acknowledge the EFA and Build it for this football development programme. In fact, development must bring life to the senior teams as it is the future for any football team. Football development is not about winning, but about development which is the future of this sport. That is why I also urge other companies to invest in such initiatives as it enhances the proper development of a child”, Gamedze said.
His words were echoed by another former national team player, Sifiso ‘Haiso’ Dlamini who also acknowledged the EFA and Build it for the implementation of this football development initiative. “We acknowledge the EFA and Build it for having this initiative as it is an excellent base for the development of future football stars. What I have also noticed is that the participants (children) are exited which is an indication that they are enjoying themselves”. Dlamini said.
The next Build it U13 Championship will be held on Saturday, 22nd April 2023 at the KaLanga Technical Centre.
“Football is not for the faint hearted,” said the Senior Men’s National Team head coach, Dominic Kunene during the post-match interview at the Mbombela Stadium. The head coach was reacting on the loss of Eswatini in the expense of Cape Verde which was a TototalEnergies AFCOIN Qualifier match. Eswatini created numerous scoring opportunities which included a penalty but failed to find the back of the net. This result has dented the chances of the national team in as far as the qualification for the TotalEnergies AFCON 2023 Final is concerned.
The head coach also lamented this loss to the tactical discipline and professionalism of the Cape Verde players which also forced him to approach this match in a defensive mode and catching them on counter attacks. “The Cape Verde players are tactically good and very professional thus the decision to delay the full-backs in going forward and catching the on counter attacks. The is no way you can play an open game against a category A national team”, Kunene said.
Sihlangu is on the third position in Group B with 2 points and is yet to play against Togo (home match) and Burkina Faso (Away match).
After getting a point in Cape Verde on Friday, the Senior Men National Team is aiming for maximum points against the Blue Sharks as the Cape Verde National Team is affectionately known. This will not be an easy match for Sihlangu as per the head coach Dominic Kunene. “It won’t be an easy match based on what I saw in Cape Verde thus we were happy with the valuable point that we got in Cape Verde”, Kunene said. As per the head coach, Cape Verde is a difficult team to play against as they can posses the ball very well.
When queried about his approach in as far as the second leg clash to be played on Tuesday afternoon, he emphasised about the importance of protecting his goal first before being offensive. “We have to protect our goal first before thinking about being offensive”, Kunene said. He also highlighted that, they will try to create some chances to score.
His words were echoed by the national team captain, Lindo Mkhonta. The skipper who missed the first leg due to suspension but watched the match on television, also observed that Cape Verde is an experienced and good team thus being difficult opponents. “They are experienced and very good thus being difficult opponents. It is important to protect our goal post first before being offensive,” Mkhonta said. He acknowledged the efforts of his teammates during the first leg. “I must acknowledge the efforts of my teammates in as far as the first leg was concerned as getting a point away from home is not an easy task,” the skipper said. The skipper also highlighted the importance of the second leg match against Cape Verde to be played at the Mbombela Stadium. “It is an important match for us because getting a good result will increase our chances of qualifying for the finals of this competition,” Mkhonta said. He believes that they have a chance of getting maximum points in as far as this fixture is concerned.
The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach Dominic Kunene will miss the service of the national team captain Lindo Mkhonta and utility player Kwakhe Thwala as both players are suspended for Friday’s match in the TotalEnergies AFCON Qualifiers 2023. Both players are not part of the twenty players who travelled to Cape Verde for the match to be playerd on Friday, 24th March 2023 at the Cidade da Praia-Santiago/Estadio Nacional “Blue Shark”Cabo Verde. The national team captain is suspended due to the red card that he got during match day number two of this competition against Burkina Faso whilst Kwakhe is suspended after he accumulated the second yellow card during the same match. Both players will be available for selection against the same opponents. The travelling players are as follows:
Ncaminso Dlamini (Royal Leopard FC), Sibusiso Dlamini (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC)
Siboniso Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Mlamuli Msibi (Royal Leopard FC), Sihlangu Mkhwanazi (Young Buffaloes FC), Vusumuzi Vilakati (Mbabane Highlanders FC), Lucky Gamedze (Madlenya FC), Sikhumbuzo Magagula (Royal Leopard FC)
Bongwa Matsebula (Young Buffaloes FC), Siboniso Ngwenya (Young Buffaloes FC), Neliswa Dlamini (Mbabane Swallows FC), Leon Manyisa (Mbabane Swallows FC), Sifiso Matse (Royal Leopard FC), Sandile Gamedze (Young Buffaloes FC), Mpendulo Tfomo (Mbabane Highlanders FC)
Fanelo Mamba (Young Buffaloes FC), Njabulo Maziya (Young Buffaloes FC), Thubelihle Mavuso (Nsingizini Hotspurs FC), Sabelo Ndzinisa (Green Mamba FC), Philani Mkhonto (Mbabane Highlanders FC).
There is no better investment of time and money than in the life of a child. They are the future. This is the spirit of the Build it U13 Football Programme. The champions of the Build it Pigg’s Peak U13 Championships were confirmed on Saturday after Pigg’s Peak All Stars FC won against Hellenic FC by a solitary goal in the finals of this tournament. After being crowned champions, Piig’s Peak All Stars coach, Thami Shongwe highlighted that the secret behind this achievement are the early preparations for this tournament. “We started our preparations for this tournament very early thus our achievement as a team”, Shongwe said. He also urged other coaches to be patient and encourage the youngsters to put more effort in their game. “I urge other coaches to be patient and encourage the players to put more effort in their game”, Shongwe said.
As an overall implementation of this tournament, The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Executive Committee Member and Chairperson of the Youth Committee Sicelo Nene thanked Build it for sponsoring this tournament and urged the players to put more effort in their education and football in order to enhance their chances of being successful in life. “On behalf of the EFA may I take this opportunity to thank Build it for investing in the future of this country through football and also encourage the participants of this football development programme to put more effort in their education and football in order to enhance their chances of being successful in life,” Nene said.
As a reaction for the successful implementation of this tournament, Build it Pigg’s Peak Managing Director, Khanya Ndlovu acknowledged the EFA for the perfect execution of this tournament and promised that Build it will continue sponsoring this football development programme. “As a sponsor, we would like to thank EFA for the perfect realization of this tournament as it was well coordinated. Build it will continue sponsoring this football development programme as it has a great impact in Eswatini, African and world football at large”, Ndlovu said. As a sponsor, Build it hope that great players will be produced from this football development programme. “We hope to get great players from this football development programme who will end up playing in higher leagues,” Ndlovu said.
The Build it U13 Buhleni championship was won by Bulandzeni Community FC after coming up triumphant in the finals against Mvuma Hotspurs FC by 3-1 on Saturday at Buhlani Sports Ground. A total of sixteen matches were played on the day in nine-aside matches where-by eight teams competed for the championship.
According to Khanya Ndlovu, the Managing Director of Build it Buhleni, they are very much exited on the manner in-which the tournament was executed and as sponsors view this football development programme as a platform that provide the essential exposure to the youngsters. “As an overall, the tournament went very well and such football development programmes are important as they provide the essential exposure for the youngsters. With the Technical Development Scheme in place, we hope the identified from this programme will have a perfect platform to develop even further”, Ndlovu said.
On urging the parents to support the youngsters, Ndlovu encouraged them to give these children maximum support as football can be their career. “Parents must be acknowledged for their efforts of upbringing this youngsters; however, more effort is also needed in terms of supporting these children as they play football. This sport can be their career”, Ndlovu said. He also highlighted that the sport does teach the children that nothing comes for free in life. “Through football, the children can learn that nothing comes for free in life. Hard work, commitment and dedication are the essential ingredients that makes one to be successful in life”, Ndlovu said.
Lwanele Ndzinisa who plays for Bulandzeni Community FC was chosen as the best player of the tournament. He also expressed his excitement about this award and thanked his coach and teammates for his achievement. “I an very happy for being the player of the tournament and I thank my coaches and teammates for this success”, Malindzisa said.
The next Build it U13 Chamipionship will be played at the Killarney Sports Ground in Piggs Peak on Saturday, 18th March 2023.