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MBABANE – While Matsapha United were booted out of the EswatiniBank Cup, their head coach Rodwell Dhlakama was leading another team in a league game in his native land Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe-born  coach once left the sugar-belt outfit months ago and was reported by Zimbabwe media, the Herald, that he had claimed to have left Zimbabwe for some personal issues and that his home club, Chapungu, were aware of his whereabouts as it was preseason in that country.

“I was on holiday and as a coach you will realise I was visiting some clubs and coaches to share notes on the trends of the game. I know several clubs are interested in me but, for now, my focus is to make Chapungu a force to be reckoned with in the local league,” he was quoted by the Herald.


Dhlakama made a return to Eswatini but left once again citing family problems and this time, allegedly, his wife was critically ill.
This past Saturday, Matsapha suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of army side Royal Leopard to be booted out of the EswatiniBank Cup at the quarter-finals stage.

On that fateful day for Matsapha, their coach was helping his home team, Chapungu, in their second league game where they played to a 2-all stalemate with Black Rhinos.
In a post-match interview of the game, Dhlakama was quoted by the Zimbabwean media to have said he was satisfied with the draw.

“We had a decent show, but after all, a point is better than nothing. We could have buried the game in the last minute but we failed to convert the chance. We have a number of areas that still need to be improved on going forward. So far, I am happy and I am grateful that we will be stronger to face the next challenge,” he said.

Drawn for comment, Matsapha PRO Bheka Magagula confirmed that the coach was not in Eswatini.
“He was supposed to have been back today (yesterday) but his wife is not too well at home. We cannot expect him here too soon if his wife’s condition is critical. We are not really after a cup but the most important thing for us is to avoid relegation and finish in a respectable position,” said Magagula.

After being told that the coach was leading his home team in Zimbabwe this past weekend during a league game, the PRO said he (Dhlakama) was probably helping out.


“We have an agreement with the coach. he is our coach. he was probably helping out,” said Magagula.
Team Chairman Sibusiso ‘Scorpion’ Nxumalo could not be drawn for comment while CEO Martin ‘Internash’ Dlamini said he was yet to consult with the team chairman on the matter who was, however, held up on national duty.

Secretary of the Eswatini Coaches Association Musa Mamba said this was a case never heard of. “There is no clause that actually prevents coaches from coaching different clubs but it is unprofessional and unethical for a coach to do so,” said Mamba.

Dhlakama assisted Matsapha clinch position eight with four games to spare before the end of the 2018/19 season after joining the team in November last year.




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