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RELEGATION HEADACHE FOR EFA

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MBABANE – What now? That is the million Dollar question by many in the local football fraternity after news emerged on Friday morning that the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) would have its football season 2019/20 decisive meeting.


Consequent to the EFA meeting is that the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) will convene its electoral assembly within 14 days after the big meeting, an indication of the decision to end the currently suspended season. However, the EFA meeting is on August 20, about three weeks from now.
Following the Eswatini News story yesterday  that the season is done and dusted, an impeccable source at Sigwaca House confided that they were now only deliberating on issues of  CAF (Confederation of African Football)  representatives, relegation and promotion at this stage otherwise it was all over for this season’s league. 

crown champions


If the EFA decide to crown champions, they would hand the gold medals to Young Buffaloes who are currently on top with 45 points and Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows and Mhlume Peacemakers would be relegated.
“On August 20 when EFA meets to deliberate their stand on the season, it would be to just formalise the decision to call off the season which has already been agreed in principle. The headache now is prize breakdown in the league and EswatiniBank Cup,” alleged the source.


The source further asserted that the biggest challenge was that they should be cognisant of the sponsor’s interest too.
“The sponsor has to approve of the prize breakdown. We also have to decide if we are going to relegate teams or promote teams. Another big issue is that of crowning champions in the league, it is very tricky because the season was not over yet,” further said the source.


The source stated that whatever decision would be taken regarding the prize breakdown, crowning of champions or relegation, it will not go down well with some members of the football fraternity but he said at the end a decision had to be made.

deliberated


When reached for comment, Eswatini Football Association Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe said it was highlighted that such issues would be deliberated during the proposed August 20 meeting.
EFA CEO Frederick Mngometulu has repeatedly stated that the fate of Eswatini football or review will be this month.


“EFA stated that issues regarding the review of the season will be deliberated during a meeting in August 20. I cannot comment on that since this matter will be reviewed on that meeting. I have no idea of what you are talking about at the moment,” Radebe said.
Prior to this, EFA were still hoping to complete the season and have developed a detailed plan to do this safely, but have yet to get football back on the pitch. It is estimated that to start and finish the season will take 14-16 weeks.


Interestingly other countries had similar challenges when it comes to CAF reps, relegation and promotion. While countries crowned champions despite that the league was not over, other countries declared the league null and void.
In Botswana they made the decision to end their domestic league and declared Jwaneng Galaxy champions for the first time. The decision came with 10 rounds still left to play in the season. The new campaign will start as soon as conditions in the country allow.

officially cancelled


The Lesotho Football Association officially cancelled the 2019/20 season with eight rounds left in the top division. Bantu FC were declared champions, while there was no relegation, with the top division expanded from 14 to 16 teams for the 2020/21 campaign.


Mauritius were the first country in Africa to declare their season cancelled, ending the campaign five games early with GRSE Wanderers and Bolton City sitting joint top of the table. No champions were declared. There is the hope that the 2020/21 campaign can start in November.

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