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Mbabane – Losses are inexcusable.

A negative balance sheet has proven to be the burden for Mbabane Swallows compliance for the CAF Club Licence for the upcoming football season 2022/23. This has been revealed through sources who had attended the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) annual general meeting (AGM) last Saturday at Sigwaca House.

The media was not allowed inside the AGM for the first time in years. Nonetheless, information has been gathered to the effect that teams spent a bulk of the day on the crucial Confederation of African Football (CAF) Club Licensing standards. “This is when it came out that some teams have failed, for things that leave many of us confused about the expected standards. Take Mbabane Swallows for example, they revealed they submitted their documentation as always but this time, it did not pass for the licence to be able to register in readiness to play in the new season.


“They told the meeting that they were failed because a negative was found in their audited financials, but the confusion here is can’t business make a loss? Swallows said their financials had passed before even with negatives so they were confused as to how the EFA failed them. Then you have Sea Birds who interestingly also failed,” said an impeccable source.

The source said Sea Birds were failed because of juniors’ non-registration. All elite teams must have junior structures for under-15s and 17s and that had since extended to women elite teams and its development as well, but the latter one will come into big demand next season, as it will be a prerequisite for the CAF interclub tournaments, the TotalEnergies Champions League and TotalEnergies Confederation Cup. “Teams are well aware of everything that has to do with licensing, especially registration of juniors. They know that very well so they need to sort themselves out and submit to EFA their documents. As for the financials, when you are a business, you have creditors to pay but if you don’t pay them, then it must reflect how you’ll go about doing so,” PLE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Makhanya, responded when asked about the teams’ concerns as raised in the AGM.He encouraged clubs to get things right especially after they were taken through a CAF Club Licensing workshop ahead of the July 31, 2022, deadline that was now giving them a headache as they have had to request CAF for a grace period or extension to be able to submit all and comply so they get the licence to register their teams and players. The players window period is already running as of August 8, this year, until October 21, but only Mbabane Highlanders and Royal Leopard are qualify to register for the new season.


Of the 14 teams expected to play in the elite league next season, only Highlanders and Leopard have the CAF licences as their deadline was May 31 by virtue of being the country’s CAF envoys in the Confederation Cup and Champions League respectively. Makhanya further said the EFA promised they would get the CAF approval, as teams were now edging closer to full compliance. Meanwhile, no First Division team has made the cut as yet for the CAF licence, which is the only way to play next season.

Swallows’ General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane said a lot was confusing with the licencing process and it was also expensive for the clubs. “Audit firms can cost from E15 000 to E30 000 and one wonders where are we going to get the money from, if we do it once and it gets failed,” he said.He said they were however, doing all possible to ensure Swallows had the CAF licence and were one of the teams to play in the upcoming season.

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