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MBABANE – The national team, Sihlangu, is highly likely finish the year (2020) without kicking a ball.

This means newly-appointed coach Dominic Kunene is likely to take home the annual approximately E360 000 with his assistant coach Gcina ‘Magiyane’ Dlamini getting about E240 000 without executing their full duties. This comes after football activities were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak that resulted in a partial lockdown in the country. Kunene is reportedly earning about E30 000 monthly with his assistant getting E20 000 monthly. The coaches continue to earn their full salaries inspite of the suspension of football in the country since March 13. Kunene and Dlamini joined the Eswatini national football side on a one-year contract. They are part of a technical bench comprising former coach Anthony Mdluli and trainer Mbuso Gina.


Sihlangu’s lack of action in the calendar year (2020) comes after the postponement of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from next year to 2022 by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The qualifiers are now likely to be played in March and June, 2021. The Dominic Kunene led side has already gone for six months without playing a match. When football was suspended, Sihlangu had only trained a week under Kunene and they were due to face Congo on the last weekend of March 2020. Sihlangu started the 2021 AFCON Qualifiers on a low note after losing their two opening games last year under then coach Kostadin Papic. They lost 0-3 and 1-4 to Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, in that order.


Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Communications and Marketing Officer Muzi Radebe said they would wait for a fixed schedule from CAF but for now all matches remained suspended. He said they were aware that CAF was postponing some tournaments but he could not confirm whether there would be no activities for the national team this year. Radebe said there were no changes when it came to the technical bench contracts when asked if they continued getting full pay while football remained suspended.


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