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PLEASE SAVE OUR PLE!

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My dearest PLE Board of Governors... If you are a Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Board of Governor reading this, you are a privileged person. The mere fact that you own a soccer club, employ some people, you are the biggest stakeholder in football.

Without you, there will be no football; there will be no PLE or Eswatini Football Association (EFA). You spend your hard earned family money to help government in a key component to society, that of socialisation.

You are as important as all the front-line workers in the fight against the invisible greatest enemy of our lifetime – the COVID-19 pandemic. Your contribution and efforts are not in vain. Today, you stand on the threshold of taking decisions which will either take our football out of the gutter or you can help throw it further into the cesspit, which like a germ in a sewer, it has been fed to by those we trusted with our lives to run it better.


Power


Today as you prepare to be part of the all-important meeting of the Board of Governors, you ought to realise you have a power to be remembered as the last bastion of administrators who, when the time and situation came, took part in a meeting that shaped the future of the sport for good or bad. Like a modern day biblical Moses, you have to take our football out of bondage to the Promised Land of Honey and Milk (read professionalism and self-sustainability). The power is in your hands.

When the path-finders of this organisation came up with the structure, a mirror-image of the one in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL), it was a watershed moment as they unshackled the chains and yoke of being an EFA Management Committee. I am talking about the great sons of the soil in Sidwell Lukhele, Celani Shongwe, Veli Dlamini, Moses ‘Mkhulu’ Motsa, Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze, Khisimusi Ndlovu, Henry ‘Tum’ Du Pont, Charles ‘Ace’ Jele, Martin ‘Internash’ Dlamini, Henry ‘Shushu’ Mthethwa, to mention a few of the pathfinders, who laid the foundation for the organisation which ostensibly became the commercial wing of the EFA.


Killed


It doesn’t need rocket science to deduce that since the fateful Sunday of January 14, 2018 at 6:53pm when that bumbling fool – with no regard for life – pulled the trigger to shoot shrewd businessman Victor ‘Maradona’ Gamedze in cold blood at Galp Filling Station in Ezulwini, he literally killed football.
The organisation has not moved an inch since then. In fact, it has now allowed even sponsors to dictate terms – telling it to jump and its leaders would jump sky high even before they ask, ‘how high’.

It has reached even the extent where some sponsors have a final say on fixtures, something unheard of in football. It is precisely what killed Brazilian football when Nike dictated terms. The people in leadership don’t realise the power that the game has. The sport has enormous power but is continuously being undervalued at every turn. This is more-so because the people in leadership don’t have the business acumen to lead the ship to calmer waters. All they are concerned with, are feathering their nest, how to connive and win the next election – the livelihood of the sport is secondary.


Today, you, PLE Board of Governor, have a chance to change the cause of history. Like Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia trial in June 1964, when he pronounced, “During my life I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die!”


Those who have led the campaign to unshackle the chains of oppression and give football a lifeline are prepared to fight all the way. They need your support because every vote now is vital in the quest to re-define, re-design and re-shape the PLE for it to reach its full potential as a self-sustainable organisation, not a piggy-bank for some few well connected individuals.


Outlined


Football must grow and the organisation must grow. It cannot forever be under the shadow of the power-drunk EFA Executive Committee. It needs to stand on its two feet and do the right thing. There is so much that has not gone well since Gamedze’s demise and it has been swept under the carpet for far too long. Now it is time to open that carpet to reveal the mess and help cleanse the organisation.


All these issues have been outlined before of what needs to happen. It is there in black and white. Do the right thing gentlemen. Otherwise, being a coward now will not only take the organisation straight to the cesspit but posterity will judge each of you harshly.
Too many ants are telling bees how to make honey in the PLE! It can’t be. It’s time to stop the gravy train. It’s time to put the livelihood first – ahead of personal, narrow interest. The time to do it is NOW OR NEVER.


This is not about Victor Gamedze or Touch Magagula – it’s about the organisation. Gamedze ran his own mile and let him rest in eternal peace. Myekeleni aphumule wa-Madlenya. It’s time to re-shape the organisation into a proper structure with checks and balances, a clear mandate and vision. 
I trust you will do the right thing. 
I thank you……….

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