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Excuses are sometimes appropriate but they are not  an adequate substitute for wise actions,” once wrote Martin Luther King Junior in one of his famous quotes.

He surely must have had the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) in mind when he uttered such words especially with the rigmarole playing itself out in the organisation ahead of the elective Annual General Meeting (AGM) expected to be held sometime next month.

Political games are already at play in the organisation ahead of the much-anticipated elections for the new executive committee. The nomination process for the candidates has not been without drama and controversy after some were disqualified on the basis that they did not meet certain constitutional requirements.
Respecting constitutional provisions is what we always want to see football administrators not just preaching but applying. It is unfortunate that some of the football decision locally in recent times seem to suggest that this important document is being respected when it suits certain people. Clearly, it only exists on paper in local football because the decisions are a direct opposite of what the constitution is designed to promote.  

telling the truth

 I always advise football people not to let their belief in telling the truth change the fortunes of premier league football but they should not let football lies consume their integrity. To all the football people who stand by nothing but the truth, thank you for the sunshine you bring to this game of billions...the game needs more morally-minded people like you.

The local premier league has always been littered with a lot of image-tainting allegations, turning the administration in the organisation into an organised chaos. The disqualification of Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows Director Charles Matsebula in particular, provoked the fury of some Board of Governors (BoGs) as they felt it was unfair and an act of victimisation.

We are being told that the process of screening the nominated individuals was done by the office of Chief Operations Officer (COO) Pat Vilakati before submitting his report to the Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula-led Executive Committee for approval. 

One of the best decisions you can ever make as a person at any point in life is to retire from drama and distance yourself from the people who love it.
Deliberate or not, the PLE office has still not clarified which provision they used in the constitution to disqualify Matsebula. The justification has been very shallow thus far because it is being suggested that there was a resolution taken in an AGM on September 1, 2016 to amend the now controversial clauses in the document touching on those that qualify to stand for elections.

amendments made

The PLE COO is on record with this publication clarifying that only the constitution formulated in 2011 by former general secretary Zakhele Dlamini was in force and nowhere does he mention that there were amendments made in the 2016 AGM. Now, it does not make sense why the issue of amendment to the constitution is propping up, because the disqualification of Matsebula along with  other nominees is being challenged by those who can interpret the document well.

That the resolution in question was taken cannot be disputed but the issue is that was this resolution adopted by the members. There is also the question of who proposed this amendment because there must be a formal document showing such.

To be honest, the PLE must come out in the open and justify the disqualification of these nominees in a press conference so that we fully appreciate it because right now, people are confused and accusations are flying all over the place. This is negative publicity the organisation does not need and could have been avoided if things were done the right way.

The most contentious issue is that of the executive committee approving the list of nominees for the elections. It just does not make sense at all because this is conflict of interest at its best if you ask me. A majority of the current PLE executive committee members have been nominated and logic dictates that these gentlemen cannot be involved in the approval of the nominees.

transparent as possible

Elections are designed to be as transparent as possible but under the PLE set-up, this is non-existent. What we are seeing is an executive committee that is acting against the true principles of fair elections because they should not be allowed to interfere with the list of nominees in which they have direct interest. In the current executive committee, only the COO has not been nominated yet those are the same people who have authority to decide on who is disqualified or not.

This is the very thing that is making the Matsebula issue very complex to deal with because all the parties involved have an interest. This then makes you start suspecting underhand tactics in the nomination process, particularly the disqualification of some nominees. I mean, really, what kind of football administration is this?

Under normal circumstances, you expect that by now, the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) should have intervened and instilled some sense of direction in the manner in which a big organisation like the PLE is interpreting their constitution.

At the same time, it also comes to mind that the same EFA executive committee, just the PLE, is also constitutionally conflicted as previously stated in this column. Therein lies the challenge hence you do not expect it to be easy for the EFA to be of assistance because they are in a similar predicament. That’s why they usually say you cannot correct a wrong with a wrong.

football leadership

This exposes the shortcomings of football leadership in the country because these are things that should not be an issue if football was properly run and laws of the game were applied the way they should. Where is the fairness when the PLE chairman is allegedly given powers to disqualify those he is competing with for chairmanship? Who has an unfair advantage here? This is insane and out of order.

I am too old for games, too tired to pretend and too wise for lies. I always strive for progress, not perfection. People are saying I have changed a lot, but I always tell them that actually a lot changed me.
I know that some people are still mad at me because I survived after they threw me under the bus, but the bus ran over their lies. It is important that when you finish talking bad about somebody, you don’t forget to tell them the good he did for you. Small opportunities are often the beginning of great achievements.  As football, the sooner we realise that leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others, not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed, the better.   

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. What’s coming in is better than what’s gone. Our football is facing a leadership crisis, from the top to the bottom. It is clear that until the constitutions of all the EFA member associations are amended, the administration in our football will continue to be a laughing stock just like we see with the PLE. 

Local premier league football will remain stagnant as long as PLE members do not keep in mind that success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses. The way the nomination is being done, the PLE elections will not be fair because of interest displayed by the executive committee.

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: Dan Dlamini
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