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MBABANE – Amid the growing calls to boycott security forces teams in the MTN Premier League, the clubs’ bosses have called for calm and dialogue.

This comes after the top four teams in the land, Mbabane Highlanders, Mbabane Swallows, Manzini Wanderers and Moneni Pirates supporters, through their National Supporters Committee (NSC) chairmen, delivered a letter of complaint to the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) on Monday. The four teams complained that the security forces teams were allegedly involved in the brutally killing and injuring of emaSwati during the political unrest that swept across the country last week and during the other protests that took place around June this year.

The letter states that the PLE should positively address the issue and give guidelines on how to tackle the matter. It further states that the teams’ supporters and fans were not mentally fit to engage in sporting activities with the security forces teams. Royal Leopard President and National Commissioner (NatCom) William Dlamini urged the supporters to find an amicable way to address their grievances. “I think the supporters should engage all the relevant stakeholders that are involved in the sport than advocating the boycott of games for the security forces teams,” Dlamini said.

He said football is meant to unite people and make friendships, not enemies and he wondered how people could judge that the killings were made by the security forces’ members. “Let us not involve football and other sporting activities with politics, we should engage each other to find a way forward on the issue,” Dlamini said. He finally said it was not for anyone to decide on what should be done on the teams, but that was for the relevant stakeholders to make a call.

Meanwhile, his counterpart at Young Buffaloes, Army Commander Mashikilisane Fakudze also shared the same sentiments as those of Dlamini, that the relevant stakeholders should be engaged before a decision is taken. “I don’t know anything about the accusations as according to what I know, sports is there not to create enemies as we are emaSwati and we need each other,” Fakudze said. He said as emaSwati, we should embrace each other as we are one big family. Over the years, FIFA has been opposed to political protests or sloganeering during games.

These laws regulating the display of slogans on shirts are contained in Law 4 of the Laws of the Game, but broader regulations on political gestures are contained within the Disciplinary and Ethics codes.

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