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MBABANE – The Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) is expected to kick off its two development leagues this month – Under-19 and Under-15 leagues.

The delayed kick-off was due among other reasons to the fact that some elite teams had failed to fulfil registration of their junior sides in the first registration window last year. They only got to register during the recently ended second transfer window. It is also an open secret that the PLE also needed funding to run the two development leagues for all elite teams. Is there funding available now? The PLE Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kenneth Makhanya, was engaged on the matter last week. He was first asked about the delayed kick-off and if it was true that some teams owned by renowned officials failed to assembly the junior teams.

“We’ll be starting our junior leagues, Under-19 and Under-15s next month (this March). The leagues will play one round but we aim to start them soon,” he diplomatically responded, avoiding the question of which teams had failed to register.Makhanya also had to respond to the funding issue.


He had also been questioned about a purported deduction from gate collections, which was seen during the inaugural MoMo Cup, called ‘Football Development’ fee, particularly if it meant that teams would be funding the development programmes. “We will have funding. We have E800 000 as our grant which is annual but not yet in our account,” he again was cautious in his response as he did not address the issue of the deduction from tickets sales or gate collections, which is understood not to be effective in MTN Premier League games.

Makhanya also explained that the money comes from the local football mother body which has been supportive of their development programmes pre-COVID-19, as well as other programmes. However, not the whole amount goes to the development programme, but some is used for administrative reasons and it does not come as a lump sum but staggered in about two instalments. EFA Marketing and Communications Officer Muzi Radebe said this was an administrative issue between the two organisations.“We don’t talk figures because in the end we report about them in our financials when the AGM time comes. Nonetheless, the EFA does give grants to its affiliates, but at the moment its best to say this is administrative,” he said.


Radebe would not commit himself to confirming the PLE’s E800 000, but said it was their operational standard that figures are dealt with in the year-end financial report where they are even explained further. Radebe advised that the PLE was also best placed to comment about the matter.

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