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MBABANE – The COVID- 19 pandemic has spoiled what was set to be a dignified farewell football season for former Sihlangu’s central defender, Sihawu Dlamini.

The 34-year-old central defender, currently registered with Premier League side Mhlume Peacemakers, will be hanging his soccer boots at the end of the current season.

Speaking to this publication, the intelligent defender, known for his biting tackles at the back, asserted that he would be calling time on what had been an illustrious football career when the current football season is declared over.

Dlamini, who is a police officer by profession, admitted that the situation surrounding the virus had disturbed his retirement plans as he wanted it to be befitting after all the years he had spent in the game. He will be turning 35 years of age in the next coming three weeks.

For the record, the current football season is currently under indefinite suspension due to the coronavirus crisis globally and so far, there is no definite date set for the resumption of the games. Dlamini conceded that his final wish was to play a final game for Peacemakers as a way of thanking the team’s Chairman Sibusiso ‘Scorpion’ Nxumalo.

Dlamini came to the spotlight when he captained Royal Leopard which was during the peak of his career and was part of the team that made history by reaching the third round of the CAF Confederations Cup. He also won a number of trophies while with the police force side when Musa ‘Magic’ Zwane and Sifiso ‘Nuro’ Ntibane were leading the technical bench.

“This is my last season playing football and I wanted it to end well but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all my plans have been spoiled. I believe my football career has reached the end but I would like to at least play one last game for Mhlume Peacemakers just for the Chairman, Scorpion Nxumalo,” he said.

Dlamini joined Peacemakers in the 2016/17 season after he was released by Leopard. He was part of the Sihlangu squad that pulled off what was a shocking 2-1 win at the Somhlolo National Stadium in 2008 during the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Dlamini also wrote on his Facebook page that, “Corona seyalile ne farewell from the beautiful game’ loosely translated ‘Coronavirus has denied my perfect farewell from the beautiful game.’

will be retiring

Peacemakers’ Public Relations Officer (PRO) Bheka Magagula said they had not yet been made aware that the player would be retiring at the end of the season.

“Since the team’s comeback to the premier league, he has been with us. He is a player that has done a lot for the club and if that’s true (retiring) it would be a blow for the team as his experience was still needed,” Magagula said.

When the local premier league was suspended in mid-March, Peacemakers were trapped in the relegation zone, second from the bottom with 14 points after 18 games.  They are three points clear of Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows, who are occupying the bottom place with 11 points.

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: Football season
Do you also think that the country's football season should be declared null and void?