The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has a new President after the successful implementation of elections during the organisation’s Ordinary General Assembly that were held on Sunday, 28th June 2021 at the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini. This was after Mr. Peter Simelane got the majority of the votes (33) out the 48 votes that were casted by the EFA delegates for the presidency. He is not new in the EFA’s Executive Committee of the EFA having been both the Vice President and Executive Member in previous terms.
Another Executive Member of the EFA who is making his return to the Executive Committee is Mr. Mashumi Shongwe who was voted to be one of the Vice Presidents of the EFA which is the same position he once occupied in the Executive Committee of the organisation. Former Premier League of Eswatini’s (PLE’s) Executive Member, Mr Steve Horton is the other Vice President that was voted for by the Delegates. The elected Executive Committee Members were Mr. Sicelo Nene who was the General Secretary of the Lubombo Regional Football Association and Mr. Sipho Kunene who was the Chairman of the Eswatini Referees Association. These elections were implemented under strict COVID-19 Regulations and the only observers were the CAF’s Executive Committee Member and Botswana Football Association’s President, Mr. Maclean Cortez Letchiwit and Eswatini Government officials with the former focusing on the application of the COVID-19 protocols.
Young Buffaloes FC and Eswatini international striker, Phiwayinkhosi ‘Phiwa’ Dlamini has been named the best player for the first round of the 2020/21 MTN Premier League. The towering striker also won himself the top goal scorer award. For his effort he got E14 000.00 out of the competition’s first round incentives.
He attributed his success to his international and club teammates as well as the technical teams. “I would like to thank my international and club teammates as well as the technical teams for the support. Football is a team sport and I wouldn’t achieve such if it wasn’t for the collective effort. International football also enhanced my performance as a player”, Dlamini said.
With Sabelo ‘Sikhali’Ndzinisa close to his heels in the goal scoring chart, Phiwa acknowledged the competition that he is getting from the Mbabane Highlanders FC striker who is also Eswatini international player. “The competition that I get from other players in the league is heathy more especially from Sikhali as I learn a lot from him considering his experience and over and above we are also international teammates” Dlamini said. Currently Phiwa is leading the pack with 15 goals and he is followed by Sikhali with 12 goals. Both players are hoping to be in the Dominic Kunene squad that is due to compete in next month’s COSAFA Cup that will be played in Port Elizabeth.
He is fresh from an injury and the Sihlangu technical bench had faith on him thus he is part of the national team that is currently in Mozambique. Sifiso Matse has repaid the technical team of Sihlangu by scoring the lone goal of the match between Eswatini and Lesotho on Saturday. “I would like to thank the technical bench for having faith on me as I am fresh from an injury but they selected me to play for the national team”, Matse said.
The industrious midfielder was quick to state that international football is totally different from club football. “International football is demanding a lot compared to club football”, Matse said. The box-to-box midfielder also thanked his teammates for the excellent teamwork that they demonstrate as players which played a pivotal role in him scoring the goal that won the match against Lesotho He also believe that it is possible to win the match against Mozambique by sticking to the game plan and the execution of teamwork.
Fresh from a win against Lesotho, Sihlangu will play the second international friendly match against Mozambique at the Zimpeto Stadium in Mozambique as the national team prepares for the upcoming COSAFA Cup. “The preparations for the match against Mozambique went well”, said Sihlangu Head Coach Dominic Kunene. He will be looking for a second in four days as he lead Sihlangu against the Mambas from Mozambique. The coach also highlighted that this will be a different match which will need a different approach from the previous one. “The will be changes in as far as the approach is concerned which implies that there will also be changes in personality in as far as the starting line-up is concerned”, Kunene said. Sihlangu is expected to hit the road back home immediately after the match.
Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) KaLanga Technical Centre has been officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Harris Bulanga. This is the third (3rd) technical centre by EFA after Lobamba and Nhlangano technical centres. This infrastructure development project was fully funded by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA). This is good news to the football family as currently there is a shortage of football venues as some may be closed for maintenance purposes.
The Honourable Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs congratulated EFA for achieving such a milestone. “We congratulate EFA for the successful delivery of this project”, Bulunga said. He also stated that this facility will change the face of football more especially in the Lubombo Region. “This project will bring the much needed infrastructure.
As the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini is in a drive of decentralization, EFA has perfectly collaborated with His Majesty’s Government as the organisation is also doing the same in as far as football business is concerned. “We underline our delight in this project as it enhances Government’s decentralization drive thus growing the football business in the area”, Bulunga said. Moreover, the implementation of this project has also enhanced the image of Eswatini as being the perfect country for investment. “This project has attributed the good work of EFA of which the investment of FIFA concur that indeed Eswatini is open for Business” Bulunga said. He also urged EFA and all stakeholders to ensure that the facility is well maintained.
The newly constructed EFA Technical Centre at KaLanga didn’t come cheap as the football association spent millions of Emalangeni on its constructions. “EFA spent E30 Million on this project”, said Dr.Comfort Shongwe, the Acting President of the EFA. This facility won’t have a football pitch only on which the organisation spent E8 Million, but there will be an athletics track that will be installed to accommodate the partnership that EFA has with Athletics Association (AE). This technical centre has dressing rooms, hall and offices to mention part of the construction work that has been done.
The Sports Portfolio Committee of the current Parliament of the Kingdom of Eswatini is in full praise of Eswatini Football Association (EFA) for developing a technical centre that will provide a perfect platform for the youth to develop their talent. The Chairperson of the Sports Portfolio Committee from the House of Assembly Member of Parliament (MP) Mduduzi Simelane expressed their delight in the realization of such infrastructure development. “We are honoured to have the youth given the platform to express their talent”, Simelane said.
His words were echoed by the Sports Portfolio Committee Chairperson from the House of Senate, Senator Princess Tsandzile Dlamini who highlighted about the creation of an opportunity for the youth to develop their skills. “Through this project, the youth will have an opportunity to develop their skills of course being supported by adults” Dlamini said. She also expressed the hope that football will develop to greater heights as a result of this project. “This project gives us hope in terms of the development of the sport”, the Princess said.
The Senior Men National Team (Sihlangu) Head Coach Dominic Kunene has urged all players who are currently not part of the national team to continue working hard as every Swati player can play for Sihlangu. He said these words when he was interviewed by the media during today’s national team’s media day at the Somhlolo National Stadium. “I urge all players to work very hard as every Swati player has the potential to play for the national team”, Kunene said.
Currently there are 28 players in camp and a majority of them were part of the national team set up during the recently completed Total AFCON Qualifiers. The head coach decided to stick to these players as he believed that as a coach you can’t afford to change a winning line up. “As a coach, I believe that you can’t change a winning line up, instead you can add on it”, Kunene said. Sihlangu’s last match was against the Taranga Lions of Senegal which ended in a 1-1 draw away in Dakar.
Sihlangu is currently in camp until next week Tuesday and the lads are happy about the progress thus far as they believe this training camp will help them in the long term as they prepare for the COSAFA Cup and CHAN qualifiers. “We are well looked after and the spirit is high”, said Sihlangu captain Lindo Mkhonta.
The captain’s words were echoed by Felix Badenhorst who stated that the spirit in camp reminds him of the memories when Sihlangu was being coached by the current Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Honourable Minister Harries Bulunga. “The spirit is high and it reminds me the time when the Head Coach was the Honourable Minister Harris Bulunga”, Badenhorst said. The shy speaking midfielder also expressed his desire to achieve with the national team. “What we can achieve as a team is a priority for me ; individual achievement can be a bonus”, Badenhorst said.
The nomination for the candidates of the EFA’s election to be implemented on the 27th June 2021 was officially closed on Thursday, 27th May 2021. This has led to the next stage which is the Eligibility check. This was disclosed by Dumsile Thomo who was accompanied by Josefa Bhembe who are the members of the EFA’s Ethics Committee. “The next stage to be embarked on is the Eligibility Check of all nominated Candidates as per the Electoral Code of 2021, which should be completed within six (06) days of the close of the nomination process”, Thomo said.
All the nominees are expected to access and complete the Eligibility Check Form at the EFA offices, which is an instrument that is meant to aid the verification exercise. “The Eligibility check is meant to aid the verification exercise by the Ethics Committee against the eligibility of nominees whether they do meet the requirements of the positions nominated for as per the FIFA, CAF statutes, Regulations and Guidelines, and in particular, the EFA Statutes Article 35(6) a)-f); Article 3597), (9); Article 40(2) and Article 41(5)”,Thomo stated.
The Candidates as per the Electoral Code of 2021 are obligated to duly complete this Candidature Eligibility Check, sign and submit it as an attachment to the nomination by the respective member association of EFA. This must be done by close of business on Monday, 31st May 2021, at the latest.