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MBABANE – Talk about being mere participants. That is the story of Manzini Wanderers, Manzini Sundowns, Moneni Pirates and four other teams following a poor display in the 2018/19 MTN Premier League season.

With a game to spare, the Manzini trio, alongside the quartet of Matsapha United, Tambuti, Vovovo and Mbabane Citizens will not get prize money in the MTN Premier League. Even if they win their remaining games this weekend, they will finish outside the top six bracket in the 14-team league. As a result, they are not entitled to prize money. This is as per the league’s rules and regulations.

For Vovovo and Mbabane Citizens, it is a double blow, as they have also been relegated to the country’s football second-tier following a dismal campaign.
One of the affected teams’ spokesperson, Muzi Matsenjwa from 11th placed Manzini Sundowns lamented failing to meet their target of finishing inside the top four. He felt that they were restricted by resources needed to match the security forces sides and the ‘Big Three’ of Mbabane Swallows, Manzini Wanderers and Mbabane Highlanders.

“The playing field is not level, as we compete against the security forces sides and the ‘Big Three’ who have more resources. Realistically, we find ourselves competing for number seven.


“We have to re-strategise and come up with marketing drives to attract numbers at stadia,” said Matsenjwa.
Despite the setback, Matsenjwa said they were out to annex all three points against relegated Vovovo at Somhlolo National Stadium tomorrow to boost chances of finishing at least in the top eight.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of the season, all 14 teams were given a revised E100 000 participation fee each. Part of the money covered administrative costs, especially match officials’ (referees) expenses.
As the curtain is falling down on what has been an enthralling season, the top two and bottom seven on the charts have been decided. Mbabane Swallows and Young Buffaloes are in a battle for a E350 000 ‘carrot’.


This is money for the third place finisher. Heading into the last games, Buffaloes, who face Royal Leopard on Sunday, are three points ahead, but the capital city giants boast a better head-to-head. The latter face Moneni Pirates in their last game.

In the battle for sixth place are Manzini Sea Birds and Malanti Chiefs. The latter are three points behind and need Sea Birds to lose to Mbabane Citizens. Malanti face Tambuti in their final game of the campaign.

Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) CEO Simanga Nhleko also insisted that the prize money would be distributed as per the rules at the end of the season, but never ruled out a possibility of reviewing the decision when negotiating for a new sponsorship package in future.

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