Eswatini clubs prepare for potentially explosive meeting

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Eswatini Premier League clubs are running out of patience regarding the uncertainty over the 2019/20 season and will meet next week to make a final decision.

The Swazi Observer on Thursday reported that ‘clubs are not happy with the uncertainty’.

“Playing under the COVID-19 blanket would mean making a lot of adjustments and the teams want to know if they will get all the protective necessities for them to return to football,” a source told the paper.

At next week’s meeting, club representatives would want to know if the PLE would be able to provide some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) for them to be able to meet the FIFA standards.

“They want to analyse the situation holistically before taking a proper decision. All the teams need to have the necessary equipment before the season can resume,” the paper wrote.

The proposal on the table is that clubs could end up voting on the matter based on several factors including the safety of players, fans, and the interests of sponsors. Clubs will also discuss issues such as the fate of players who might test positive. They want to know if the whole team would be quarantined or the affected players.

Eswatini Football Association (EFA) general secretary Frederick Mngomezulu recently said the country wants to ensure they complete their season so that champions are crowned and that other matters to do with league placings are completed.

“All football competitions countrywide, will resume from the point where they were suspended and be implemented until their conclusion, with the current football season extended accordingly,” Mngomezulu said.

Young Buffaloes currently hold an eight-point lead at the top of the league table with 18 rounds of matches played.

Mngomezulu revealed that the decision to complete the season was taken by the Executive Committee, with the EFA further noting the loss of match-day revenue for teams and other stakeholders was devastating.

“Each and every match-day has some financial gains for the football teams, EFA affiliates and stadium owners just to mention but a few,” the EFA said in their newsletter.

“Most of the football teams in the country depend on ticketing for their survival. If the football teams are not generating any incomes, then the players and officials’ salaries are being compromised.”

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By Mthokozisi Dube

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