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FOOTBALL BLACKOUT AT EBIS COMES TO AN ‘END’

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MBABANE – The football blackout on national radio will soon be a thing of the past.

Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Marketing Committee member Sibusiso ‘Scorpion’ Nxumalo said they had sent a proposal to Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) authority over the return of live coverage on football games by the national radio station. “We did everything concerning the issue of broadcasting football games as we forwarded a proposal to the station authority over the live coverage of the games. We are still waiting for their response on the matter,’’ Nxumalo was responding to EBIS’ Nathi ‘Mdockies’ Hlophe during yesterday’s morning Sports Show.

The national radio station and Eswatini Television station were banned from covering football games live at the beginning of the past 2020/2021 MTN Premier League season by the PLE. It was a drive to make the stations pay the PLE broadcasting rights which in turn would have helped the teams financially during this COVID-19 era, which has forced the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the PLE to ban football supporters and fans from going to stadiums. “We hope to get the response before the new season starts as we had done everything on that issue,’’ Nxumalo said.

The Madlangempisi Member of Parliament (MP) said COVID-19 had disturbed their plans as the PLE marketing committee in as far as implementing income generating strategies for the organisation and teams at large. “We will also try to use other media platforms such as live-streaming as we are planning a programme that will help the teams to be financially sustainable,’’ he said. Nxumalo further said that they would soon launch a vaccination campaign for supporters which would help in having more vaccinated supporters. “Once we have a huge number of vaccinated supporters, maybe government will consider allowing them back into stadiums. This in turn will help the teams financially,’’ he said. The legislator said technology had changed the way things are done and their wish was to turn football fans to supporters.

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