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MBABANE – It was a case of near yet so far for Denver Sundowns whose habit of chopping and changing coaches nearly backfired on them this time around.

Having brought in Zimbabwean gaffer Bigboy Mawiwi last month as the club’s head coach soon after the departure of their assistant and trainer Siyabonga Bhembe back to Mbabane Swallows, results were so bad for the Kappa Boys such that they have not won a match in the last four games. His only win was against Rangers and it was a 5-0 margin. He was already not with the team when they lost 2-0 to Manzini Wanderers last week and had also written a letter of complaint to the Eswatini Football Coaches Association (EFCA) over alleged ill-treatment by his then employers. In an EFCA statement yesterday, the association’s Secretary Musa Mamba addresses Mawiwi’s experience with Sundowns under the subtitle ‘unfair dismissals’.

“We are also disappointed by some clubs who are publicly trying to look good, yet they treat coaches badly. We were puzzled when one team on social media claimed a coach left on his own accord. It is not true that the coach left because he had issues to attend to back home. The coach was unfairly dismissed, the team failed to honour verbal agreements he had with them, as it did not give him a written contract before starting his coaching obligations,” Mamba claimed in his press statement with Monday’s date on it.


Mamba explained that Mawiwi, even though he did not mention any names in the statement, was called and questioned further, he was instead of a contract, given a letter of appointment in order to facilitate his registration. “We are in possession of a letter from the coach citing ill-treatment from the club. The coach was pushed out of the team without settlement dues were concluded. The Association was in the process to refer the matter to legal structures after it received the letter from the coach,” Mamba said.

However, he then explained in the same statement that Sundowns engaged the coach who came back to them and said he had reached an agreement with the team and advised that the legal route be dropped. “The coach further informed us that after he and the club met, the Facebook statement was misleading and far from being truthful. He informed us of everything that transpired between himself and the club so we dropped the legal route,” Mamba explained while confirming that Mawiwi received his dues and left the country.

He then appealed to clubs to respect coaches and as such other structures in the teams would also do likewise especially the supporters. He further appealed to the coaches to respect the contracts they get into with their teams as they could also be legally challenged for any breach which called for them to know and understand the terms and conditions. “We encourage football stakeholders to work with coaches at all levels as football is 80 per cent technical, without coaches the development of the game will be slow,” he envisaged.


He then called for the rules governing the game to be respected as well. Sundowns’ PRO Thabiso Manyatsi said it was quite disturbing that they were only learning about this through the media. “Both the association and coach could have written to us or copied the letter to us if there were any issues. The way this is now coming out is unfair to us as a club when we still stand by the statement we published on our Facebook page as the truth and only truth,” Manyatsi said.
He acknowledged that there may have been a bit of conflict somewhere with the coach but it was all then amicably resolved and the coach received his dues as he had indicated what he expected to be paid to him.

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