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EZULWINI – “What they are doing is totally unacceptable and we are not going to sit back and fold our arms.”

These are the exact words of Mbabane Highlanders Managing Director  and Simunye Concept Chairman Chief Ally Kgomongwe when addressing the media. The Simunye concept, which was launched last year by Kgomongwe, seeks to have teams united and to assist each other and grow together. In the concept, Manzini Wanderers is the vice chair, while Moneni Pirates and Mbabane Swallows are the secretary and assistant in that order. The teams are often referred to as the country’s ‘Big Four’ based on their huge following. Through a press conference held at Happy Valley in Ezulwini yesterday, the teams announced a bold move to challenge the alleged unfair advantage of the security forces through petitioning the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs. The security forces teams are MTN Premier League champions Royal Leopard, Green Mamba and Young Buffaloes.


Kgomongwe said outside the field of play, they were united and wanted to see the country participating in the World Cup one day. He said they had the majority of supporters and the forces teams should form their own league. He said this in his opening remarks where he also retaliated that FIFA advocated for a ‘fair play’ while locally the ground was not level. He said they shared gate collections with forces teams which used government resources against them who digged deep into their pockets to run teams. Kgomongwe mentioned that small teams eventually got relegated because they did have enough funds to compete with the forces who mainly took the civilian teams’ players. Kgomogwe then handed over to his vice who read the list of demands the ‘Big Four’  had in mind to challenge the issue.

Manzini Wanderers Director Sandile ‘Chief’ Dlamini said their plans were headlined by seeking audience with the Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga. If those efforts fail, they were ready to meet the prime minister (PM). Dlamini said they wanted the minister to address the issue of forces teams using government resources to allegedly destroy their teams. The aggrieved teams further proposed a temporary measure to this. They proposed an increase in foreign quota from five players to nine ahead of the new season. They said this would cushion their teams from the loss of players to the forces teams.

Some of the players who have been signed by forces teams in recent weeks include former Mbabane Highlanders and Manzini Wanderers captains Sabelo ‘Sikhali’ Ndzinisa and Mthunzi Motsa, respectively, who are with Green Mamba. Green Mamaba have also signed seasoned Mbabane Swallows midfield maestro Njabulo Ndlovu. Royal Leopard, on the other hand, have acquired the services of Mphumuzo Sangweni from Moneni Pirates; Simanga Mavuso from Tambankulu Callies and Senzelwe Dlamini from Vovovo, to mention a few.
The teams met to let their fans and supporters know that they were with them in fighting the unfair advantage of the forces teams over who are accused of crippling their sides. They claimed that the forces teams used government revenues, transport and facilities which disadvantaged the non-forces teams.

The ‘Big Four’ also bemoaned that a majority of national team players were from the forces teams, which they said was ‘destroying’ players as they did not have that interest to play beyond the borders. They further said that they would tomorrow be meeting with all the other Premier League of Eswatini non-forces teams to extensively deliberate on this issue.
Meanwhile, Kgomongwe emphasised that those teams that will be joining them would get sponsors to boost their financial muscle to compete with the forces teams.

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