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MBABANE – It seems Mbabane Highlanders’ loyalists might have to wait longer for the eagerly-awaited debut of their impressive recruit, Bonginkhosi ‘Manyovu’ Dlamini.

The speedy winger was unveiled by the capital city giants on September 11 at Somhlolo National Stadium, alongside ex-Green Mamba’s seasoned forward Musa Dlamini. However, Royal Leopard have all along been claiming that they have not cleared any player to Highlanders. Reports suggest that there is more frustration for Highlanders, as ‘Manyovu’s former side in Sagrada Esperança of Angola are reportedly refusing to release the TMS (Transfer Matching System) to the black and white ensemble because of the sale agreement and addendum they have with Leopard. The TMS is defined as an online platform for FIFA’s member associations to record player transfers between clubs.

The purpose of the system is to improve transparency, efficiency and governance between clubs and football associations. The purchasing and selling club are both required to enter details of the transfer. Crucially, the details must match in order for the transfer to be approved and in cross-border cases, an International Transfer Certificate is dispensed. Last month ‘Manyovu’ made an unexpected return from his top Angolan side, Sagrada Esperanca. The player’s return to Leopard came after he and the team did not agree on terms, which led to the termination of his two-year contract. ‘Manyovu’ had joined the Angolan side in January this year from the police ensemble. Instead of returning to Leopard, ‘Manyovu’ made a surprise move to Highlanders, only to be derailed by the paperwork, especially the TMS.


The failure to get the TMS from Segrada has left Highlanders with one option – to return to Leopard to negotiate for his release. Highlanders Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mandla Madonsela confirmed that the team met Leopard yesterday in a bid to tie up the loose ends. He said the team held lengthy talks but no final agreement had been reached at this stage.
“We’re working around the clock to have the matter sorted in time for our opening game of the season,” he said. Highlanders are expected to face Tambankulu Callies in their MTN Premier League opener at King Sobhuza II Memorial Stadium in Nhlangano on Saturday, starting at 3pm. Leopard PRO Frank Hurube, on the other hand, also confirmed the meeting with Highlanders at the Police Academy in Matsapha yesterday, saying they were relieved to finally meet them for the first time in over a month over the issue of the player. “We’ve met over the player for the first time. It is only now that we can talk about a possible transfer. However, we’ve not concluded anything yet,” he said.

Meanwhile, part of the player’s reasons for his premature return from the international club, it was reliably gathered, was that the Angolan side did not pay him his full signing-on fees. The Times Sports Desk was also made to understand that they only paid half of the E300 000 transfer fee to Leopard. No immediate comment could be sourced from ‘Manyovu’ at the time of compiling this report.

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