They lost the first leg match by 2-1 against Etoile du Sahel but Young Buffaloes FC is confident that they can make it to the group stages of the Total CAF Confederations Cup. “Even though we are adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we still believe in the capabilities of the players who are part of the travelling delegation to Tunisia”, said Sandile Gwebu who is the club’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Some of Young Buffaloes FC’s players are not part of the trip to Tunisia as they tested positive for COVID-19.
When sending the army side off to Tunisia on behalf of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA), the Vice President of the football association, Dr. Comfort Shongwe acknowledged the players’ effort during the first leg encounter and urged the nation to support the team through prayers as they leave the country for the second leg. “You played very well during the first leg of which as EFA we believe that you can make it in the second leg and proceed to the group stages of this competition. We urge Swati nation to support you through prayers and have a safe trip and please remember to adhear to the COVID-19 protocols”. The second leg match will be played at the Stade Taleb Mhiri Sfax on Sunday 21st February 2021 and kick-off is at 1600hrs Tunisia time.
A total of twelve (12) Eswatini Referees are part of the 2021 FIFA accredited list. These referees consist of 6 Referees and a similar number of Assistant Referees. There are four (4) female and eight (8) male referees. These referees will be doing duty during international competitions. The full list is as follows:
The first Window Registration Period for football clubs in the membership of the Regional Football Associations (Regional Football Leagues) and the Women Football Association (National Women Football League), is extended from the original 15th January 2021, to the close of business on Friday, 29th January 2021. This exclusive extension has contemplated the COVID-19 Regulations as implemented by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini.
Due to the fact that the electronic registration system is yet to be introduces at lower levels of organized football, Regional Football Associations have been required to regulate the registration business in such a way that congestions are avoided. The football clubs are urged to do the registration as early as possible inorder to avoid being locked out for the rest of the season, as there will be no other extraordinary consideration beyond this extended period.
In conclusion, EFA urge her members and the public to adhear to the COVID-19 Regulations as the as the country and the globe continues to fight against this pandemic.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the football family has mourn the demise of The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini, His Excellency Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini. “EFA and the football family in Eswatini is in loss of words to express itself on learning of the greatest shock of the infelicitous passing-on of The Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini; His Excellency Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini, read the EFA statement. The football association also extended its deepest and heartfelt condolences to Their Majesties, the Family, Cabinet and Government, Relatives, Friends, affected establishments and the populace in general for this untimely demise.
“His demise has roped the nation of his stewardship and the visionary works which Their M,ajesties has bestowed upon him to upscale the economy, and the overall livelihood of the country”, read part of the statement. The EFA also acknowledged the support from His Excellency over the years towards the development of football in the country.
“As a person who had football at heart, we were very much honoured to have shared the same football spirit with His Excellency for many years; especially during the time when he was the Chief Executive Officer of Eswatini MTN and later as the Head of His Majesty’s Government where he played a decisive role in the return of football business after the impulsive hiatus brought about by the COVID-19 health threat”, the statement read.
“Regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to sponsor football and we are committing ourselves to continue sponsoring in the future”, said the Chief Executive Officer of Eswatini MTN, Mr. Wandile Mtshali. This was during the official launch of the 2020/21 MTN Premier League that was held at the Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre in Ezulwini. This year’s edition is worth E6 Million and is the last share of the 3-year sponsorship deal between MTN Eswatini and the Premier League of Eswatini. “We are proud to sponsor the 2020/21 elite football season with E6 Million as part of the E18 Million sponsorship that started 33 years ago”, Mtshali said.
The CEO also stated that it is vital for the football family to protect the MTN brand as the games are being implemented. “It is important for us as a brand and sponsor that the brand is protected. The rules and regulations must be followed”, Mtshali said. He also expressed MTN’s confidence in seeing football growing due to the solid leadership within the football structures and also acknowledged government’s leadership in providing a conducive environment for the execution of business and the implementation of sports in the country. Due to the outbreak of COVID-1q9 pandemic, football fans will not be able to go to the stadiums and watch their respective teams. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, football fans can follow the live action through the MTN’s digital platform known as the yello club”, Mtshali said. The MTN Premier League matches will be streamed live on this platform as from this coming weekend.
The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) President Mr. Adam Mthethwa expressed the organisation’s gratitude towards MTN Eswatini for her investment in football over the years. “The EFA expresses its gratitude to MTN for her investment in football over the years”, Mthethwasaid. He also assured the sponsor that football is growing in the country as there are a lot of development initiatives that are being implemented. “A lot of developments are currently happening in football which includes club licensing which is being implemented for the betterment of the sport”, Mthethwa said. The President of the EFA also saluted His Majesty’s Government for nurturing an enabling environment for the implementation of the sport in the country.
The Premier League of Eswatini’s (PLE’s) Chairman Mr. Mark Carmichiel through PLE’s Executive Member Mr. Charles Matsebula echoed the EFA’s President’s words as he also acknowledged MTN’s role towards football development in the country. “MTN has been a good friend to football over the years and this partnership deserves to be celebrated as football has benefited a lot from it”, Matsebula said. He also expressed his profound gratitude to MTN for her professionalism in as far as this partnership is concerned.
The fight against COVID-19 is still on, however His Majesty’s Government has recognized the effort of football in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harris Bulunga during the sponsorship launch of the 2020/21 MTN Premier League. “Football by being the first sporting code to voluntarily suspend matches when the pandemic attacked the world in March, set the tone for government in the fight against this virus”, Bulunga said. The Honourable Minister also highlighted that this decisioncontributed a lot towards saving the lives of Emaswati. “The Ministry extend its gratitude to all football stakeholders in understanding the decision of stopping the sport since March until October”, Bulunga said.
As the fight against COVID-19 pandemic still continues, the Honourable Minister stated it clear that no football fans will be allowed in the stadiums at least for now. “No fans will be allowed in the stadium and everyone must play his/her role in ensuring the safety of the populace”, Bulunga said. He also applauded MTN’s innovation in providing a digital platform where football fans can follow the action in the comfort of their homes. He also urged football lovers to embrace this innovation. Lastly, he assured the football family and the public that the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs and the Ministry of Health will continue to engage football authorities in as far as the fans attendance in the the stadiums is concerned.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has united with the globe in the fight against AIDS. “As the world commemorated the world AIDS day, the EFA would like to extend her solidarity and shared responsibility towards the fight against AIDS” the EFA said through a statement. The football association reminds the populace that the fight is not over thus there is still a need to increase awareness and the impact of HIV on people’s lives. “With solidarity and shared responsibility, we can suppress the stigma and discrimination and improve the quality of life of people living with HIV” said part of the statement.
EFA also highlighted that even though the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected us adversely; we mustn’t forget the havoc that HIV has done and still can do to our lives. “No one is safe unless we all safe”, the statement read.
The football association also acknowledged His Majesty’s Government and her partners for the efforts in the fight against the AIDS epidemic over the years since the first case was reported in the country. “As an organisation we believe that global problems needs global solidarity, thus only global solidarity and shared responsibility can help us beat the COVID-19 pandemic and the AIDS epidemic”, the statement concluded.
The Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu) is ready to face Congo Brazzaville which will be a back-to-back clash between the two nations. Sihlangu will play against the Red Devels in Brazzaville on the 12th November 2020 with the second leg to be played four days later at the Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini. When addressing the media at the Somhlolo National Stadium; Sihlangu Head Coach Dominic Kunene was optimistic that the players were now ready for the match. “The players are committed to play for the country and in terms of physical fitness; they are not bad. We want to win and with nine points from the remaining matches, we can qualify for the Total AFCON Finals”, said Kunene.
He also highlighted that in as much as their focus is on having a clean sheet, they will also respect the game. “We are focusing on how to protect our goals whilst respecting the game”, Kunene said. Currently the national team is without the international players who are expected to join the national when the international FIFA week starts. “The international players will be part of the squad as we stated before that every capable player can play for the national team”, Kunene highlighted.
The hard tackling defender Lindokuhle Mkhonta will captain the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu) for the first time when the nation’s pride plays against Congo Brazzaville on the 12th November 2020. He highlighted that, to be captain of the national team comes with huge responsibilities of which, he is looking forward in handling them. “It is not easy to be the captain of the national team but I will consult from the previous captains in order to live up to the expectations”, Mkhonta said. The hard man in the Sihlangu defence also highlighted that the long break of football had its effects towards them as players as they first struggled during the early days of the training camp. “We first struggled but we have improved after the long break of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, Mkhonta said. He also highlighted that training under the COVID-19 pandemic was different than before as there are a lot of health protocols that are now implemented. As a true leader, the captain was confident that they can get maximum points away from home. “We want the maximum points away from home”, Mkhonta said.