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LEOPARD BID TO HOST AT MAVUSO

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MBABANE – After the sports desk uncovered the dilemma surrounding the CAF Champions League venue for Royal Leopard’s second round home game, there is a solution.

This publication recently reported that there was a dilemma regarding the venue for the TOTALEnergies  CAF Champions League first leg tie against Cameroon’s Coton Sport. This is after it was uncovered that Somhlolo National Stadium had been booked for the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Under-20 Youth Championships, to be hosted by the country late next week.

It was initially reported that Ingwe Mabalabala would play the Cameroonian side in their first leg game of the TOTALEnergies-sponsored tournament on October 8, at Somhlolo National Stadium at 3pm. The date clashes with the Under-20 COSAFA qualifiers fixture. On the very same Saturday, Namibia will play Comoros at Somhlolo National Stadium and kick-off is at 3:30pm.

Booked

From October 7 to October 16, the country’s soccer ‘Mecca’ together with Mavuso Sports Centre will be booked for the COSAFA tournament.
Interestingly the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) through their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kenneth Makhanya, did highlight that Somhlolo would not be available for elite games until October 20. The sport desk has been made to understand that Eswatini Football Association (EFA) has requested for the usage of Mavuso Sport Centre. It has been further brought to light that on the said kick-off time, there will be no game at Mavuso Sports Centre on Sunday, thus the game has been rescheduled to Sunday at Mavuso. CAF had only temporarily approved Somhlolo National Stadium to host the first two matches of the  continental games.

Efforts to get comments from EFA Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe, were futile as he could not be immediately reached.However, he was quoted by this publication in the previous article saying they were working on the issue. Meanwhile, Leopard Manager Richard ‘Danka’ Fakudze, confirmed that the game will be played on a Sunday. “We will be playing at Mavuso Sports Centre on Sunday,” said Fakudze in his brief-as-a-sneeze response without wanting to divulge much.

Confirmation

Even though Leopard are certin of hosting at Mavuso, it is still subject to confirmation by the EFA and CAF. Noteworthy, is that Mavuso Sports Centre will only be hosting the COSAFA Under-20 games on Saturday and Monday. There will be no games on Sunday at the venue in Manzini, while Somhlolo will have games both on Saturday and Sunday. The return leg will be played on October 15 away in Cameroon. The winner between the two sides will not only qualify to the group stages but are guaranteed E9.7 million.

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