Birds' win again!
MBABANE – Mbabane Swallows have achieved a double over bitter rivals Manzini Wanderers after the Mfanafuthi ‘Taribo’ Bhembe protest was dismissed by the FA Disciplinary Committee last night.
The ruling effectively confirmed Swallows as the champions of the MTN League ahead of tonight’s prize presentation billed for the Royal Swazi Sun’s Convention Centre. This also means the red and white outfit won in the field of play and in the boardroom over the same club to clinch the title.
The matter did not go to the merits, as the DC ruled that the protest was not properly filed by the applicants. It took them over an hour to come up with the verdict before dismissing the matter in its preliminary stage. The hub giants were also ordered to pay the costs of the matter.
Wanderers had lodged a protest that the former Jomo Cosmos player was improperly registered claiming that he was registered as a Swazi when he joined Swallows in August last year. They allege that the player had been registered as a South African during his two season stay with the Johannesburg based side before he was offloaded.
However, in a rather unusual move, Wanderers were stunned to discover that the Premier League of Swaziland (PLS) had roped in executive committee member Mduduzi Mabila to represent their interests in the case.
The organisation felt that their interest was at stake as the league sponsor MTN Swaziland was also concerned about the matter.
Mabila explained that his position in the matter was to ensure full compliance with the League’s Rules and Regulations of the past season with regard to Article 10 which is specifically the protest procedure.
Wanderers who were represented by Advocate Lucas Maziya lost the matter on technicalities as it was proven that they failed to comply with the Rules and Regulations which provide that the letter confirming the protest must be accompanied by supporting evidence, which Wanderers did not have.
Explaining the verdict, chairman of the DC Skhumbuzo Simelane who went through every raised argument point by all parties, said their findings were that there was no compliance and observation of the rules by Wanderers.
"We assume that all the PLS teams know the rules are binding and we believe they agreed to them so Wanderers must have observed them as they are," he said.
He said they could not deviate from the rules and regulations of the League as raised by Swallows’ lawyer Lindifa Mamba and Mabila for the PLS.
He explained that Wanderers failed to lodge a valid protest by not complying with the Rules and Regulations of the past season.
"We find that the protest as raised by Mamba is frivolous and vexatious and for that matter, the protest is dismissed with costs," he said.
He said the written verdict would be made readily available by noon today to the concerned parties.
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