As per the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF’s) club licensing; there are minimum standards that must be met in football for the sake of developing the sport. Indeed there is light at the end of the tunnel as a total of 33 Sports Medicine and 11 Administration Instructorship candidates graduated on Monday; 10th June 2019 at Sibane Hotel.
This event was graced by the Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Minister Harries Bulunga; Executive of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and Senior Government Officials to mention just a few.
“I believe that the graduates will contribute a lot towards football development”; said Bulunga. These shows the vital tasks that the graduates are expected to execute in the football industry. The Honourable Minister stated that these courses will address the gap that existed for a long time in football of which he tasks the EFA to have more of such courses in order to develop the sport. “Professionalization of the game is in line with the country’s vision of which education can enhance the fulfilment of it”; Bulunga said. It is for this reason that the Honourable Minister reminded the graduates that; learning is never an event as they have to keep on upgrading themselves.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) is very much committed towards football development in this country. This was highlighted by the President of EFA Mr. Adam Mthethwa during the graduation ceremony of the Sports Medicine and Administration Instructorship candidates. “Honourable Minister; this is one way in-which the EFA is developing football in the country”; Mthethwa said. The President also stated that as EFA they hope the graduates will assist the football association in achieving its mandate.
These words from the EFA President were echoed by the Vice President of the football association Dr. Comfort Shongwe who stated that the football association is trying very hard to develop football in the country as there is a lot of things that need to be done. “There are things that need to be given attention for the sake of developing football”; Shongwe said. He highlighted the need of regular testing of players and also put in place a policy to enhance the safety of players more especially when it comes to the issues of having a fully equipped medical bag. He also motivated the graduates to fully commit themselves to all the tasks that they will be given to them in future. “When given a task; do your best”. He concluded.
The President of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Mr. Adam Mthethwa, Vice President Mr. Peter Simelane and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu are in Paris, France attending of the FIFA Congress, hosted on the 5th June 2019, which was preceded by a CAF Assembly on the 4th June 2019 to discuss some of the items of the FIFA Congress.
This is a statutory Ordinary Congress that is hosted by FIFA on an annual basis, where global football governance, administration and development activities are discussed. As part of the agenda, the congress will also discuss the Activity Report of FIFA and Financial Reports of FIFA, including any possible amendments to the FIFA Statutes, as well as items tabled for discussion by the Congress.
The 2019 FIFA Congress is also expected to elect the President of FIFA, where the incumbent President, Mr. Gianni Infantino is the sole candidate.
On another note; the same delegates of EFA currently attending the FIFA Congress are expected to upon conclusion of the FIFA Congress, also join with Football Officials overseeing women football in FIFA’s respective Member Associations globally, to attend the FIFA Women Football Convention, also scheduled to be hosted in Paris from the 6th to 7th June 2019. The Chairman of the Women Football Association, Mr. Sonnyboy Mabuza, by virtue of his position within the EFA, will attend this very first FIFA Women Football Convention. This convention will discuss various women football development issues. The EFA delegates are expected to return on the 9th June 2019.
On his capacity as being the Honouree Vice President of the Council of South African Football Association (COSAFA); the Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) President Mr. Adam Mthethwa took his valuable time and met the Senior Men’s National Team (Sihlangu) at the Garden Court Marine Parade in Durban yesterday after lunch. Sihlangu is currently in Durban competing in the COSAFA Senior Challenge and the national team’s fate in this year’s edition depends on the outcome of today’s group A final match between Mauritius and Comoros.
“So far you have played two games in the 2019 COSAFA Senior Challenge which both of them ended with a draw; but the Eswatini nation is still fully behind you”; Mthethwa said. The EFA President also urged the national team to soldier on and not lose hope as they are not yet out in the tournament and if that’s the case; there are still other competitions that they can use to redeem themselves. Finally he wished the national team the very best of luck in the future.
The Senior Men’s National Team Head Coach, Kostadin Papic is pleased with the performance of his players thus far, which is why he still believes in them. “I am pleased with my players and I believe in them”; said the Serbian born coach. Papic highlighted that the players are improving in their play and they did very well in the two matches that they have played in the on-going COSAFA Senior Challenge.
His words were echoed by some Sihlangu fans through the Eswatini Football Association’s facebook page where some of them expressed a lot of delight towards the performance of the national team. Having said that; both the Head Coach and the fans did show their concerns on the defensive errors made by the national team in recent matches. In this year’s COSAFA Senior Challenge Sihlangu has scored 2 goals and also considered the same number of goals. “We are able to score goals which is good; but what is strange is that we also concede goals cheaply for that matter”; Papic said. The conceded goals have put the national team’s future in the 2019 COSAFA Senior Challenge in a limbo as Sihlangu’s progress in the competition relies much on the results of today’s match between Mauritius and Comoros.
The casualties in Sihlangu camp that is currently in Durban competing in the 2019 COSAFA Senior Challenge has increased to 3 players. Siboniso Mamba missed the 2nd and final Group A match for the national team due to a knee injury that he sustained against Mauritius in the opening match. Njabulo Ndlovu and Sibusiso Mamba are the 2 additional players to join the list of injured players in the camp.
These latest players got minor knocks on their ankles respectively as a result; they were rested on today’s one and only training session this morning at the People’s Park in Durban. According to the national team’s doctor Melusi Lukhele all these injured players got minor knocks that will be monitored and they should be fine soon. “All the injured players got minor knocks with Njabulo and Siboniso’s knees needing some attention”; Lukhele said.
The chances of Sihlangu advancing to the semi-finals now hang in the balance as the final group A match will decide the fate of Eswatini in the tournament. This was after Eswatini and Comoros played to a 2-2 draw with Sihlangu playing their final group stage match and Comoros playing their opening match in the tournament. Sihlangu displayed good inter-change of passes during the match but continued to be shy in front of goal; whilst at the same time, the defence was found wanting in some instances.
As erly as the 3rd minutes, Eswatini missed the first chance of the match with Sandile Ndzinisa’s head failing the find the back of the net. In the 14th minute; it was the same case with the man of the match Felix Badenhorst whose header missed the target from a Lindo Mkhonta’s cross. In the 24th minute, Sabelo Ndzinisa redeemed himself from the early miss as he converted a Lindo Mkhonta’s cross. In the 35th minute, Eswatini missed another scoring opportunity when Njabulo Ndlovu missed a sitter in the box after an immaculate interchange of passes by Sihlangu.
Lindo Mkhonta made a suicidal error on the right flank when he tried to play a back pass that was not meant to be as it was intercepted only for Sandanezwe Mthabela at goal to be well beaten by Mradabi Chadhuli. The half time score was 1-1.
In the 2nd half; Felix Badenhorst scored his second goal of the 2019 COSAFA Senior Challenge which makes him the all-time joint goal scorer of the competition alongside the Zimbabweni born legend Peter Ndlovu. Both players have 8 goals apiece. Comoros equalized in the 56th minute through Youssouf Ibroihim. Eswatini applied more pressure in search of a winner and they came very close to that only for a Felix Badenhorst low shot to hit the post. The referees blew the final whistle with the final score at 2-2 which made Eswatini to have 2 points after 2 matches. The winners of this group will be decided after the final match of the group between Mauritius and Comoros. The winner of this match will be guaranteed a fixture against Zimbabwe in the quarter- finals.
It is a do or dies match for the nation’s pride as they will play against Comoros in their final group stage match. The only positive result that the national team needs to have any chance to proceeds to the quarter finals is a win. Scoring more goals as possible is also very important to be precise.
“We will play three strikers just like the first in the first match as we want to win this match”; said Sihlangu Head Coach, Kostadin Papic. This will be the first match for the Comoros national team in the competition.
Sandile “Sikhali” Ndzinisa also echoed the head coach’s words as they are also aware as to how important this match is to them as players and the nation as well. “In the dfirst match we created a lot of scoring opportunities and missed a majority of them; of which in this match, it is a must that we convert the scoring opportunities created”, Ndzinisa said.
This match will kick off at 1700 hrs and it will be played at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
The Senior Men’s national team (Sihlangu) managed a single point against Mauritius in the opening match of the 2019 COSAFA Senior Challenge. This was after they played to an odd goal draw in a match that was played at the King Zwelithini Stadium.
Sihlangu created a lot of chances in this match however the national team was shy in front of goal. The national team had to come from behind twice in this match. Ashly Nazira who was the man of the match was a thorn to the Eswatini Side and that was proved by the brace that he scored for the Mauritius National Team. Eswatini scored her goals through Siboniso Ngwenya after a 1-1 cross from Lindo Mkhonto. The second goal was scored by Felix Badenhorst who scored Eswatini’s goal with his head.
This result men- both national teams have a single point with each team to play against Comoros on Monday and Wednesday respectively. Eswatini will play against Comoros on Monday whilst Mauritius will play against the same opposition on Wednesday.