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BUFFS’ CAF OPPONENTS FIRE COACH

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MBABANE – They just weakend ahead of their Valentine’s Day first leg clash against Young Buffaloes in the CAF Confederation Cup playoff round.

CAF denotes Confederation of African Football. The first leg will be held in Manzini at the Mavuso Sports Centre before Buffaloes, who dropped to this stage from the CAF Champions League following a 6-3 drubbing by AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the second round, travel to Tunisia for the second leg a week later.

Not new to Eswatini, Etoile du Sahel will be hosted in the country while still adapting to the philosophy of a new mentor after parting ways with their Brazilian head coach Jorvan Viera yesterday.  

KingFut.com broke the news as early as 10:30am that Viera and the Tunisian giants parted ways by mutual consent after six weeks with them.

Poor

His dismissal comes after he took charge last November and led the team in eight games, winning four and leading the club to CAF Confederation Cup playoffs over Arab Contractors. “However, it was the team’s poor performances in the Tunisian league that cost him his job, collecting just 10 points from their opening six games, losing to arch-rivals Espérance, who sit top of the league with 16 points, reported KingFut.com yesterday.

The latest developments mean that Etoile would now have to look for a new coach in the upcoming period which includes the two-legged CAF tie against Buffaloes next month. Etoile came in the country in 2018 to play against Mbabane Swallows in the same tournament, won 2-0 in Manzini and lost 3-1 away in Tunisia.

Meanwhile, the 67-year-old Viera is well-known to Egyptian fans, having coached Ismaily, Zamalek, and Smouha during his career. He also had short stints at the Qatar, Iraq and Kuwait manager as spells in Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Oman and Malaysia.

He will not be in charge of Etoile against the Sabelo Mnisi-coached Buffaloes, who went past Burundian side Le Messeger Ngozi in the first round of the CAF Champions League before losing to AS Vita in the second-round. 

Against Etoile, Buffaloes will be looking for a spot in the last 16 that is then divided into the four groups of four each to play for the quarters in home and away ties.  

This is the same tournament that has South African sides Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic who, still have to play their away second leg with Nigerian rivals River Plate who lead them 2-0 after beating them in home soil. The match remains pending due to the strict COVID-19 requirement to quarantine seven days prior to the match for any person coming from the high-risk countries and South Africa is one of them. 

Efforts to have the regulation waivered were in vain as the Nigerian government would take none of it.

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