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MBABANE – Two Premier League teams have come out to warn their players against playing in the festive season tournaments.

It is a norm for elite league players to play in the unorganised soccer tournaments around their communities and over the years, some players sustained career threatening injuries, which dig deep from the club’s coffers in paying for their medical expenses.

Former Mhlambanyatsi Rovers and Manzini Wanderers stylish player Sifiso ‘Mangweni’ Zwane’s football career was cut short after sustaining an injury playing at Msunduza Sports Ground. Just recently Mbabane Swallows midfield maestro Banele ‘Pupu’ Sikhondze was allegedly injured while playing at the same venue, forcing him to miss one of his team’s league match.

Speaking on national radio, the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) Sports Show yesterday, Swallows General Manager (GM) Sandile ‘Beyond 2000’ Zwane and Royal Leopard Public Relations Officer (PRO) Frank Hurube, warned players to shy away from playing stokvel tournaments.

“The president released the players and wished them a merry Christmas. He also warned them against playing in the festive season tournaments. We are saddened that we failed to give our supporters a good Christmas; we want to make them happy when we return next week. We have many supporters, who want to be comforted,” Zwane said.
He then assured their supporters that they would bounce back as the league is a marathon and they should not press the panic button, as they would fight until the end. “I would like to urge our supporters to go and watch the Christmas games, this is where most players are identified and we are giving them the opportunity to coaches and scout players for the team,” he said.

He, however, stressed that the player should be good, with good height of around 1.7 metres, but  a player shorter than that should have  special qualities like those of Tony, Wonder and Pupu to name a few. “Height is very important, especially when playing in Africa as you saw how tall the Moroccan players are,” he said.

He further urged the team’s supporters to take care of themselves during the festive period and hoped that God would protect them as they usher to the New Year.Meanwhile, Hurube also war-ned Ingwe mabalabala players from playing on the Christmas tournaments, but said they should go and support through coaching their communities.

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