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MBABANE – Shocking revelation.

The issue of ambulances being not available in stadiums during MTN Premier League games was explained during the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE) Team Doctors Workshop organised by the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Medical Committee at Sigwaca House yesterday. Emergency Medical Services’ (EMS) Sibusiso ‘Soso’ Kunene, when addressing the doctors, revealed that they were faced with a number of challenges as a wing responsible for sports. He made the startling revelation that they only had one ambulance for all sporting codes in the country.

“Our job during games is to offer advanced life support not to attend to minor incidents such as knocks. This is the duty for the teams’ medics. The challenge as you have noticed that we were not attending games of late is that we have one vehicle designated for all the sporting codes in the country, not just for soccer,” Kunene said. He said since there was one ambulance for sports in the country, they had now come up with a new strategy called zoning, whereby they would contact all their offices around the country to inform them that they should attend to games around their vicinity. “I must highlight that the ambulances that will be deployed in games will leave should there be an emergency, as in actual fact they will be on standby,” he said.


On another note, Kunene said they were faced with a number of challenges when executing their jobs during games as they received strong words from fans, teams as well as the medics themselves, which he said was not good for local football. “We receive life-threatening utterances from some of these medics here when we are attending to players in the field. The referees also put us in the spotlight during games which attracts insults from supporters towards us,” he said. Kunene encouraged clubs’ owners to purchase the first aid kits needed by the medics for games as it was a shame that they were sometimes requested by the teams’ doctors for basic things such as bandages.


He finally revealed the reason behind EMS shunning PLE games, as he said supporters once damaged an ambulance, but the implicated team, whose supporter damaged the vehicle, distanced himself from repairing it, as a result he (Kunene) had to fork out his money to repair it. Meanwhile, the PLE was faced with challenges of having ambulances for games; as a result they issued a statement directed to teams that they should take the responsibility to organise for themselves before reneging on it recently. Some games were delayed as they waited for ambulances and one was forced to be called off to the unavailability of this special vehicle. This was the MTN Premier League match between Madlenya and Manzini Sea Birds, which replayed but as a continuation from the time it was stopped. It played for the second half’s 45 minutes as it had reached half-time when it was abandoned due to a lack of an ambulance at the stadium.

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