The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) hosted its 2020 Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) at the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini. This event was implemented on Sunday, 28th June 2020 after the EFA was granted by the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to do so. During this gathering, the EFA presented both the organisation’s activity and financial reports to the delegates who are also the Executive Members of the member associations of the football association.
During this meeting, the President of the EFA, Mr. Adam Mthethwa highlighted that due to the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic; the football competitions remain suspended as previously decided by the Executive Committee of the EFA. “The most probable question that is encountered is that of the negativity of the wait to resume football or decide on the fate of the 2019/20 season. To this end, the Executive Committee will convene in August 2020 to review the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently advise its members and stakeholders”, Mthethwa said.
The President of the EFA also highlighted on the progress of organisation’s infrastructure developments, sustained rebranding of the EFA, regional football governance and management capacitation, capacity building for football personnel, EFA’s football statutes, and the fiscal ecosystem in the football business.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) continues to leave a mark in as far as the infrastructure development in the country is concerned. This is evident with the construction of the EFA’s Technical Centre in Lobamba, the King Sobhuza II Stadium in Nhlangano and the yet to be finalized regional Technical Centre at KaLanga. “Over and above the King Sobhuza II Stadium, which is now in full operation, housing the Shiselweni Regional Football Association and also providing a source of revenue generation, the mini-stadium and regional Technical Centre at KaLanga, in the Lubombo Region, a FIFA Forward Project, is also complete”, said the EFA President Mr. Adam Mthethwa. This facility will house the Lubombo Regional Football Association as well as provide an income generation platform for the regional football association. The finalization of this project has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next stop in as far as the EFA’s infrastructure development projects are concerned is Mkhuzweni where the football association will construct a mini-stadium and regional centre in Northern Hhohho. “The Executive Committee has now set its sight on the implementation of the mini-stadium and regional technical centre at Mkhuzweni, in the northern Hhohho, with the construction commencement scheduled for August 2020”, Mthethwa said. This FIFA Forward project is valued at over E23 Million. After this project, the EFA will be left with the Manzini Region as it decentralizes the football facilities to all the four regions of the country.
The effects of the COVID-19 continue to affect every sector of the economy including the football industry. This has adversely affected all the stakeholders of football including the member associations of the Eswatini Football Association (EFA). As a way of mitigating the financial effects of this pandemic, the EFA has E2, 275, 000.00 (Two Million Two Hundred and Seventy-Five Emalangeni), to its member associations. This was disclosed by the General Secretary (GS) in a press conference that was held at Sigwaca House on Tuesday afternoon.
“The Executive Committee, as has earlier asserted, whilst waiting for the mooted FIFA’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, having analysed its financial capacities in careful consideration of its continuance to assure the survival of the association and inherent pertinent football business prosperity, has decided to allocate an amount equivalent to E2, 275, 000.00, to its member associations to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 threat” said the GS of the EFA Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu. The member associations are the Hhohho Regional Football Association, Lubombo Regional Football Association, Manzini Regional Football Association, Shiselweni Regional Football association, Premier League of Eswatini, Women Football association, Eswatini Coaches Association and Eswatini Referees Association. The Regional Football Associations will each get E300 000.00, Premier League will get E700 000.00, Women Football Association, Eswatini Coaches Association and Eswatini Referees Association will each get E125 000.00.
The details on the utilization and accountability of these funds will be communicated to the member associations. “Details on the utilization and accountability of the allocated funds will be advanced to respective members” Mngomezulu said. It is expected that the members will receive this money before the end of this week. The GS also highlighted that the football association haven’t yet received the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Fund. “The definite relief fund, for which the subject of the relief fund was borne, has not yet been determined by FIFA, as FIFA task teams are currently, finalizing the impact assessment of the COVID-19 pandemic across the 211 Member Association of FIFA and their germane financial governance institutional processes.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has come up with a strategy for the resumption of football competitions. This strategy is yet to be presented to Government and the pertinent stakeholders. Speaking in a press conference, the General Secretary (GS) of the EFA Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu highlighted that the strategy is categorised into four phases. Of great significance within the implementation of the strategy there will be weekly COVID-19 tests, with expected regular daily screening of players, officials, match officials and appropriate working staff, as they attend their training, preparation programme and matches.
“The football association has developed a four-phased strategy comprising of the biological, preparation, pre-competition and competition phases”, Mngomezulu said. The biological phase is a pre-preparation period where the major activities will revolve around the preparation of football clubs, match venues and appropriate legislations for the resumption of football competitions and the larger business of football. “This will be the most critical stages where there will be testing of football players, officials, and match officials to establish the COVID-19 status including the preparation of match venues and appropriate regulations”, the GS stated. If the health condition in terms of the COVID-19 status quo improves, an adjustment to this phase can be made in such a way that it is reduced to two weeks instead of three.
The preparation phase involves the resumption of training of football clubs, which has also been divided to individual training sub-phases to take one week, and group training sub-phases to take two weeks. “This phase will take a total of three weeks, when taking into the account the one week individual training and two weeks group training”, Mngomezulu said. If the COVID-19 status quo improves, this phase will be increased to two weeks instead of one week.
The pre-competition phase will be the period when the whole teams will train including the playing of practice matches. This will be a one week phase. Finally, the competition phase will be basically the implementation of the competitions. “This phase will take eight weeks; and could be extended to ten weeks depending on the concluding rounds of competitions, some which may need to be played concurrently hence requiring on extended time”, the GS stated.
This whole strategy is estimated to take 14 weeks, a period which could be extended to 16 weeks, in the event the competition phase is extended by 2 weeks. The estimated commencement of this strategy is the 15th June 2020 depending on the discussion and conventions with the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini and pertinent stakeholders.
As the 2019/2020 football season is extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has directed the football clubs to extend the contracts for the players who were due to expire at the end of the initial period of 2019/2020season. “This will allow football clubs to utilize their current squads of players to conclude the season”, Mngomezulu said. He also highlighted that this extension of contracts is in compliance with the guidelines that have been issued by FIFA, as FIFA has accordingly amended the FIFA Regulations from the Status and Transfer of Players to accommodate the extended seasons globally. In this regards, the EFA encourages football clubs to engage their respective players and other employees such as coaches and other employees by the football clubs to find a lasting solution for the discharge of the football responsibilities during this COVID-19 pandemic period. “Football clubs are reminded to ensure that the applicable national laws are respected with respect to employment are accordingly respected”, Mngomezulu stated.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020/2021 football season will have a new registration period. With the proposed resumption of competition strategy being crafted by the EFA, football clubs will be accorded a three week break at the end of its implementation in order for them to prepare for the resumption of the new season where after the new registration window period for the 2020/2021 football season will be established. “This will give an opportunity to football clubs to be engaged in the players’ transfer business and register players for the new season”, said the EFA’s General Secretary Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu. The definite registration dates will be communicated and approved with FIFA in the FIFA Connect Registration Platform.
The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA) President, Mr. Adam Mthethwa has appealed to the Members of the football association to handle the COVID-19 pandemic situation in as far as football in the country is concerned with care. This is after a lot has been said over the media and other platforms by some member associations which of cause tarnish the image of the EFA.
“There have been a lot of reactions after the EFA suspended football matches in the country”, said Mthethwa in a press conference that was held at Sigwaca House this afternoon. It is a fact that after this decision by the EFA Executive Committee was implemented, there were numerous reactions from some stakeholders of the EFA. The President clarified that when the EFA took this decisions, she accommodated all her stakeholders. “The EFA accommodated all her stakeholders when taking this decision”, Mthethwa said. Having said that, the EFA President highlighted that up to now, none of the Members of the EFA have raised any views formally regarding the current situation.
The President also highlighted that, the Member Associations are free to advice the football association in a responsible manner however; it is only the EFA that has the authority to implement such football decisions on the land. “It is only the EFA that can take such decisions and Member Associations can only advice on such in a responsible manner”, Mthethwa said. He also elaborated that this decision was a fair one under the current situation.
When quizzed about the possibility of cancelling the current football season, the EFA President stated that further consultations will need to be made as there are a lot of issues that may need to be addresses which won’t be easy to do so. “Cancellation of the current football season is not the only opinion and if that is the case, further consultations will be needed as a lot of issues must be addressed”, Mthethwa said. This implies that football matches will resume after the EFA gets advice from government to do so.
As for the FIFA Relief Fund which is a topical issue to some EFA stakeholders, the EFA President has requested that this issue must be left to the football association together with the FIFA Forward issues. “It is only the EFA that can deal with the issues of the FIFA Forward and Relief Fund thus we appeal to the Members to respect the structures of football”, the President said. In conclusion; he appealed to the EFA Members to handle the COVID-19 pandemic situation in a responsible manner so that the brand of the football association is protected and also the interests of the sponsors are prioritised.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has expressed her condolences following a tragic accident that happened on Friday at the MR9 road (Yith’abantu road) between Nhlangano and Mhlaleni. This accident claimed lives of the members of the Royal Eswatini Police Services (REPS) and citizens of the Kingdom of Eswatini. In a press statement that was issued on Friday, 1st May 2020 the EFA stated her condolences and a symbol of solidarity. “The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the entire football intimate in Eswatini, would like to extend their sincere and heartfelt condolences and symbol of solidarity to the National Commissioner and the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) as a whole and most extensively the affected families, relatives and friends, and associated establishments for the shocking and premature tragedy of the members of the REPS and citizen of Eswatini”, read part of the press statement.
The EFA also highlighted that like the rest of the sphere, it is difficult to comprehend the dreadful tragedy. “It is still unintelligible that what was envisage to be a customary daily exertion, had to descend to such a traumatic experience. As for the REPS members, it is still unbelievable that whilst the country is still united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, currently debilitating humankind globally, for which they were a significant part, lives could be lost in such a manner. Like the rest of the sphere, the EFA whilst is still cannot comprehend the dreadful tragedy it believes that God Almighty will afford solace and reassurance to all affected as such a depressing instant”, said the EFA through the press statement.
An expression of a symbol of solidarity and best wishes to all the survivors was also stated by the EFA. “The EFA furthermore, at this instance, hereby express its symbol of solidarity and best wishes of recovery to all the survivors of the tragic crash and further wishes of a speedy recovery extended to all affected families, societies and establishments from this tragedy. May the souls of the departed, Rest in Peace”, the statement concluded.
The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has issued the 2020 Ordinary General Assembly (OAG) to her members. This year’s OGA is scheduled for Sunday, 28th June 2020 at a venue and time that will be communicated. “Notice is hereby given to all Members of the EFA, in terms of Article 29(2) of the EFA Statutes, that the 2020 Ordinary General Assembly will be held on Sunday, 28th June 2020, at a venue and time to be communicated in due course, in conformity with the EFA Statutes”, read the circular that was sent to the EFA Members.
It must be noted that the hosting of this event will be subject to the evolution and/ or resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. “EFA Members are further informed that the hosting of the EFA Ordinary General Assembly is subject to the evolution and/or resolution of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic currently debilitating global humankind. Consequential communication, if applicable, will be advanced to the Members of the evolution of this pandemic relating to the general assembly”, read part of the circular.
The delegates were also reminded that each Member of the EFA must be represented by six (6) delegates. They were also informed that the proposals to the OGA must have been submitted to the EFA Secretariat by the 28th May 2020 at the latest.
The Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Licensing and International Affairs Manager, Ms Ntombifuthi Dlamini has highlighted that the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) was successfully implemented. This current football season (2019/2020) marked the first time in which the DTMS was used in the transfer of players in Eswatini. “The EFA had successfully implemented the DTMS in as far as the transfer of players is concerned of which more than one hundred players were transferred”, Dlamini said. She also highlighted that in all this transfers, there was no intermediaries involved in the transactions.