Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

MBABANE – South Africans Chief Ally Kgomongwe of Mbabane Highlanders and Royal AM’s ‘MaMkhize’ could not avoid a meeting in the TOTALEnergies CAF Confederation Cup 2022/23 draw.

The draw was held yesterday afternoon in Egypt, Cairo where the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Headquarters is located. Eswatini has two representatives in MTN Premier League 2021/22 season winners Royal Leopard in the TOTALEnergies CAF Champions League and runners-up Mbabane Highlanders in the TOTALEnergies CAF Confederation Cup 2022/23. The games start next month. The highlight for Eswatini was the Confederation Cup draw as Highlanders were drawn against a tough Royal AM who are owned by business magnate ‘MaMkhize’, real name Shawn Mkhize. What made it interesting was the fact that Highlanders Managing Director, Kgomongwe is South African from Pretoria while Mkhize is also South African.


Furthermore, Kgomongwe had declared he did not wish to meet Royal AM or Marumo Gallants in the preliminaries, but the draw gave him the former. He had preferred rivals from Botswana, Lesotho or even one from the island nations. Meanwhile, in the Champions League, Leopard have a tricky one as they start off against Madagascar’s CFFA which appears easy on paper, but it is in the  second preliminary round where it gets complicated for them. Leopard would have to take on Cameroon’s Cotton Sport who are a tough opposition. With efforts to get comments from the two sides’ coaches proving futile yesterday, Kgomongwe was called for Highlanders but to no avail while Leopard’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Frank Hurube was sought. Hurube said it was a tricky draw but they were ready and working hard to do better.


“We have seen the draw against CFFA and to us it’s a tricky draw considering that we don’t know this team yet they could know us. It’s a draw we welcome, we’re working hard already. The next round is tougher but we fear no one. We know its Cameroonians, but we’ll play without fear and work to reach the group stage,” he said. He also appealed to their supporters to assist them as this was an expensive journey to embark on and needed financial stability. The police side will host its home matches in Mozambique as opposed to South Africa where they hosted in the previous CAF Confederation Cup. Leopard’s Captain and forward Muzi ‘Mzoro’ Dlamini said it was ‘a tricky draw’, given Madagascar’s performance as a country at national team level, he added that they should expect a tough challenge and must work hard to get to the next stage.

Highlanders’ out-of-contract Captain and Eswatini’s most wanted forward domestically and outside Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa was reachable but could not comment on the draw. He said he was yet to hear from Kgomongwe, when asked about his future while adding he currently knew nothing about the reported news by local media as nobody had called or spoken to him yet. It is an open secret that Highlanders want to retain him but they have strong competition from rivals, including Leopard and Young Buffaloes.

Meanwhile, the winner of the preliminary round clash between Highlanders and Royal AM gets to play Zambia’s Zesco United in what is also a tough draw. Both Leopard and Highlanders start their games next month with the preliminary round first leg slated for the weekend of September 9, 10 and 11 before the second legs are played a week later on the weekend of September 16, 17 and 18 this year.


If they progress to the second preliminary round, they will play the two legs in October. Highlanders will start at home while Leopard will be away in Madagascar. For Highlanders, home will be in South Africa which gives Royal AM double advantage as they will feel like they hosted both legs, with Eswatini having no venue fit enough to host international matches under CAF and FIFA; this follows the ban of Somhlolo National Stadium and Mavuso Sports Centre for not meeting certain requirements for international matches.

Comments (0 posted):

Post your comment comment

Please enter the code you see in the image: