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SPORTS AWARE OF GOVT’S EXPECTATIONS – ‘MADZE’

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MBABANE – All sports institutions are aware of what government expects from them in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

This is according to the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Harris ‘Madze’ Bulunga. The legislature had been asked on what were the measurers he thought the ministry should employ to help fight the spread of COVID-19 particularly in football following reports of an increased number of football players and officials contracting the virus with a number of administrators passing on due to complications related to it. 

Through Communications Officer, Sibongiseni Zondi, the minister gave a brief response emphasising on the importance of following government’s prevention guidelines.

“The ministry has clear regulations and protocols for all sporting institutions to adhere to and these institutions are clear on what we expect from them,” he said. 

The global pandemic has claimed a number of football administrators’ lives which include reputable coach Thabo ‘Koki’ Vilakati, the national team, Sihlangu assistant coach, Gcina ‘Magiyane’ Dlamini, Sitsebe official Dudu Dube, Mbabane Highlanders official Timer Mthembu among others.

The latest fatality being the death of long-serving Manzini Sea Birds Public Relations Officer (PRO) London Dlamini, who died soon after the death of Manzini Wanderers Director Thembumenzi ‘T-man’ Mkhatshwa, who succumbed to a short illness.

recovered

A number of other football officials have recovered from the virus and they include Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Executive Member Sibusiso ‘Scorpion’ Nxumalo and Royal Leopard assistant coach Mfanzile ‘Fash’ Dlamini among others.

Some elite teams have confirmed cases of COVID-19 among players and these include Green Mamba, Manzini Wanderers and Moneni Pirates.

Top flight and organised football will be suspended for four more weeks after government, through acting Prime Minister Senator Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku recently announced an extended 30-days of the strengthened partial lockdown.

Initially, government had imposed a two-week partial lockdown followed by the announcement of reviewed COVID-19 regulations that banned any form of gathering except funerals, meaning even sports, football included, were suspended.

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