As part of EFA’s effort in enabling a safe environment to play football; the Covid-19 testing of players has been finalised. This was the second test for football clubs under the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). “EFA confirms that all football clubs under the PLE and the relevant officials have now undergone the compulsory Covid-19 testing with no positive case recorded”; read a media statement from the EFA. The conclusion of this testing exercise automatically nullifies the applicability of any other previous Covid-19 test result as from other previous Covid-19 test result as from Friday, 21st May 2021, the EFA highlighted.
This implies that the football clubs and their players are expected to produce these new Negative Covid-19 Tests Certificates. “In view of the above football clubs and their players are expected to produce these new Negative Covid-19 Tests Certificates as of the above date in order to be allowed to play in the league matches scheduled under the auspices of the PLE”, read the statement. The football association also stated that the compliance to this new requirement will be key and the validity of the tests will remain until the next Covid-19 Testing Phase, which will be communicated in due course, as the EFA seeks to ensure the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini, the public and stakeholders that football will be played under a safe Covid-19 environment.
The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini has allowed the return of national teams football, elite football and women football which was good music for the EFA and football family in the country. This has caused the EFA to acknowledge the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini for this decision. Even though football is gradually returning in the country, football fans are still not allowed in the stadiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
EFA has assured Government that the COVID-19 protocols will be adhered to. “We promise to obey the COVID-19 protocols” said the General Secretary of the EFA, Mr Frederick Mngomezulu. He also highlighted that some of the COVID-19 protocols have been implemented in order to create a safe environment of playing the sport. “As part of obeying the COVID-19 protocols and also creating a safe environment for the players, officials and everyone involved implementation of a football match, the 2nd phase of testing for COVID-19 pandemic is being implemented”, Mngomezulu said. With this tests being done, the old COVILD-19 certificates will no longer be applicable.
Like a true father, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has presented 50 sets of referees’ uniforms to the Eswatini Football Association (ERA) to be used by elite referees in the country. According to the EFA’s General Secretary Mr. Frederick Mngomezulu, this initiative has been implemented by the football association for the past 2years. “For the past 2 years, the EFA has dressed the elite referees”, said Mngomezulu. The main aim for the EFA in presenting these uniforms to the referees is to make them presentable while they execute their duties. Mngomezulu also expressed the EFA’s hope regarding the usage of these uniforms. “We hope that the referees will take good care of the uniforms and we anticipate that this kind gesture from the EFA will also motivate them” said Mngomezulu.
Eswatini Referees Association (ERA) through her Chairman Mr. Sipho Kunene acknowledged the EFA for this kind gesticulation. “On behalf of the ERA, I would like to acknowledge EFA for these uniforms as they will play a great role in our refereeing duties” Kunene said. The Chairman also highlighted that as an association under the EFA they are very much humbled to EFA considering the unfavourable economic condition globally. Kunene expressed their wish as the ERA that such actions by the EFA can also be implemented by the Regional Football Association. “As ERA wish to offer such to regional referees thus we wish that the Regional Football Association can also implement what the EFA is doing for the referees.
On Sunday, 9th May 2021, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) held her Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA) at the Happy Valley in Ezulwini and the main agenda item was the exposition and ratification of the EFA Electoral Code, the Ethics Committee and the EFA Appeals Boards. As the next Ordinary General Assembly (OGA) is an elective one, the assembly was expected to endorse the implementation of the ratification of the electoral code with the aim of applying it during the next OGA which is scheduled for Sunday, 27th June 2021.
The EFA Assembly decided to postpone this exercise by seven days after it emerged that the delegates did not have enough time to go through the EFA Electoral Code. Two motions were voted for before the implementation of this decision. The first one was “the EGA be postponed to convene after 7 days”; and the second one was “the EGA be postponed and the Executive Committee be given the latitude to determine the timeframe to reconvene the EGA”. The former motion got the majority votes thus the implementation of the meeting to be postponed for Sunday.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) hereby informs her Members, as per the EFA statutes, about an Extraordinary General Assembly which is scheduled for Sunday, 9th May 2021, commencing at 1100hrs (11:00 am) at the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini. This event is implemented pursuant to the statement made at the Extraordinary General Assembly of the 4th April 2021 that the imminent elections of the EFA Executive Committee at the EFA Ordinary General Assembly 2021, as directed by FIFA, will be executed in terms of the EFA Electoral Code.
The implementation of this event is subject to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has assured her members that they will get their first payment of Grants for 2021 within the next week. This was confirmed by the EFA President Mr. Adam Mthethwa during the EFA’s Extraordinary General Assembly that was held on Sunday, 3rd April 2021 at the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini.
“Members are also due to receive their payment of Grants for 2021 within the next week”; said Mthethwa. He also highlighted that these Grants will be followed by the last portion of the Covid-19 Solidarity funds. “This will be followed in the next few weeks with the last portion of the Covid-19 Solidarity fund”; Mthethwa elaborated. Over and above these finances, EFA has already invested towards the resumption of football as equipment and material for such has already been done including the compulsory testing for the various football clubs at the level of the Premier League and National First Division League, including those from the regional super leagues, that participated in play-offs for the National First Division League.
The EFA President also informed the Members that the covid-19 Relief Funding does not affect the receipt of the normal grants. “Delegates, whilst the Covid-19 Relief Funding does not affect the receipt of the normal grant, which are expected to be received in full in 2021, in line with the requirements of the FIFA Forward Regulations, Members are entreated to exercise cautiousness in expenditure, to ensure an extended livelihood of their organizations and associated basic responsibilities, as the environment of the pandemic has not yet been resolved, especially, with all economies domestically and globally, including those that finance football, having taken a huge recession as a result of the persistent health threat”, said Mthethwa.
The Covid-19 pandemic has done a lot of havoc in the globe which include the football business. With the elite football having just resumed, EFA is working around the clock pertaining the same in as far as the regional and women football competitions are concerned.
“Delegates, it is common knowledge that regional associations and women football competitions are still halted, since last year. In this regard, the EFA Executive Committee, empowered by the EFA Statutes on such instances, and being its responsibility and significant mandate to stipulate the appropriate statutory guidance to its member association, leagues and stakeholders, are currently engaged in collaborative discussions with the pertinent stakeholders, to give the most plausible guidance and direction, albert imperfect, in the light of the dynamic environment posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, on the football competitions business prospectively”; said the EFA President Mr. Adam Mthethwa. The expectation of this exercise is within the month of April.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. With football fans being banned from attending football matches in stadiums due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) and MTN Eswatini has officially introduced a live streaming platform where football fans can watch their favourite teams at a cost which will be revenue that will benefit the football clubs.
“Football fans should enjoy local football from the comfort of their homes”, said Mr. Wandile Mtshali, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Eswatini. He also highlighted that the long term plan for this platform is for the people to enjoy local football even beyond the borders of this country. The football family expressed its excitement in as far as this partnership is concerned and the overall relationship that it have with MTN Eswatini. “As football family, we are happy with the relationship that we have with MTN Eswatini, and over and above that; we would like to express our sincere appreciation to MTN Eswatini for the cooperation that the organization had with us during this tough period where the globe is terrorised by the COVID-19 pandemic”, said the Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) President, Mr. Adam Mthethwa.
The PLE Chairman Mr. Mark Carmichael acknowledged His Majesty’s Government for allowing the return of football and eulogized MTN Eswatini for her investment to football for the past 20 years. “We would like to acknowledge His Majesty’s Government for the return of football. We also thank MTN Eswatini for her investment in football development in the country as the organization has invested E50 Million to the game over 20 years”. He also pleaded to the football clubs and the nation at large to support this initiative for the benefit of the stakeholders. “We need to embrace the live streaming of matches as football clubs and the nation”, Carmichael said. The revenue generated from this initiatives will be shared by the PLE and MTN Eswatini with the former getting 78% whilst the latter getting 22%.
They paraded some of the best players in the world football but that didn’t intimidate Sihlangu as the Eswatini Senior Men’s National Team almost won their away match against the Aliou Cisse lead Senegalese National Team. With Sadio Mane starting the match on the bench and parading other world class players who play their club football in top European leagues, Sihlangu frightened the Taranga Lions in their own backyard at the Stade Late Dior in Dakar. With Senegal having already qualified for the Total AFCON Finals, pride was at stake for both nations.
Sihlangu was in search of the first win of these qualifiers at the expense of the Senegalese National Team. It was a well-articulated volley from the boot of Sabelo ‘Sawa’Gamedze that beat Seny Timothy Dieng hands down much to the joy of the Swatis. This was the lone goal of the first half.
In the second half, the Taranga Lions continued to apply more pressure to Eswatini as they hunted for the equalizer up until the 96th minute when a goalkeeping blunder by Sandanezwe Mathabele resulted to Cheikhou Kouyate to tap in the equalizer much to the relieve of the Senegalese who were almost embarrassed by Sihlangu on home soil. The match referee from Guinea blew the final whistle with both teams settling for a 1-1 draw.
Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and Athletics Eswatini (EA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will enhance the development of sports in the country. This MOU is aimed at promoting, strengthening the existing friendly relations and cooperation that exist between the EFA and AE.
As part of the MOU, both parties shall encourage and promote exchange programmes, skills, techniques, information and knowledge that will assist in the development of sports in the country. The EFA President Mr Adam Mthethwa highlighted the significance of sports development thus the implementation of this MOU. “Sports development is vital for any country there is a lot of benefit economically and otherwise”, Mthethwa said.