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MBABANE – Will the artificial turf at the Somhlolo National Stadium last the minimum 25 years lifespan?

The question has been triggered by the glaring lack of proper management of the turf that was installed in 2007, as part of the then FIFA Goal Project initiated by ousted President Joseph Sepp Blatter.

The project cost was E4.8 million and it replaced the natural grass that was becoming increasingly challenging and expensive to manage by the stadium owners, government under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which housed the department of Sports.

Recently, the facility has suffered several damages, but mainly it has been allowed to host games even without the turf being watered two hours before kickoff as was stressed by the FIFA experts when the facility was officially handed over.

The National Football Association of Swaziland (NFAS), who owns the turf were represented by former Vice President Nichodemus ‘Ace’ Mashwama, when the conditions for the maintenance of the facility were outlined. On Sunday, during the MTN League triple-header, the turf was watered during half time of the first match between Moneni Pirates and Mbabane Midas City. And apart from that, the National Fire and Emergency Service’s water tanker wheeled through the turf much against the conditions set by the experts.

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