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Readers, it is good to be back after a one-week break to recharge my batteries.

In the past week, we have witnessed unprecedented events dominating news headlines concerning the management and leadership of our football in both the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) and the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). It was a reminder of the African proverb that says, ‘when two bulls fight the grass suffers.’ What compounds the situation is that these fights are being waged in both organisations openly under the guise of holding the leadership accountable. Although at face value it appears they are sincere in their approach, but there is always a perception of ulterior motives. Most of the infighting has nothing to do with improving football; it is about egoist interests and positioning themselves within reach of the echelon of Eswatini football power politics.


The fighting bulls I’m referring to, dear readers, is the first-of-its-kind court case between EFA President Peter ‘Samora’ Simelane against his deputies in Mashumi Shongwe and Steve Horton as well as the supposedly walking out in a PLE board meeting by Mbabane Highlanders FC South African Director Ally Kgomongwe in protest to an amendedment of the organisation’s statute eligibility criterion for the chairmanship position. Firstly, may I address Kgomongwe’s sudden walkout in the Board of Governors (BOGs) meeting. Since the South African director took over at Mbabane Highlanders FC and the formation of the so-called Simunye, his ambitions were exposed in respect of Eswatini football. Behind the scenes those who control football began hatching their counter offensive in silence. On the other hand, Kgomongwe was laying his ambitions in the open for all to see. Chief Komongwe underestimated the football people of this country. You can mess with other things, but the moment you get near their nest they will fight back even dirty if pushed too far. Therefore, I hate to say welcome to Eswatini football Ally.


Kgomongwe’s mission was a failure from the beginning. When  he formed the Simunye Group they did not bother him for a reason, but in their boardrooms they were planning to strike back. With lighting speed, a clause in the constitution forbidding  his eligibly for the organisation’s chairmanship because of your nationality has been inserted in the statutes. A word of advice, don’t despair. Give yourself time to re-strategise, take your time, make less noise, befriend your enemies and study their weak and strong points. Maybe you might be in a better position to achieve your ambitions in future. Otherwise, currently, I am afraid to say welcome to Eswatini football once more. The second issue that dominated headlines over the past week as mentioned above was the infighting within the EFA Executive, more particularly the three principal officers. This infighting has led to a first-of-its-kind, where a sitting president obtained an interim order restraining and/or interdicting his deputies. It has been reported in our sister publication that the source of the conflict emanates from the president’s leadership style, which the vice presidents felt was counterproductive to the development and administration of football in the kingdom.


Without apportioning blame to either of the principals, one is left with many questions concerning the president’s decision to approach courts of law to resolve football disputes. In a number of occasions, EFA has been quick to abhor the referrals of football disputes to courts, citing both FIFA and her statues. They had argued that these statutes created resolution mechanisms for such disputes. Therefore, if that is the argument, why has the president failed to adhere to the mechanism as set out in the constitution. The president is the custodian of the organisation’s statutes. He is expected to know them to the extent of ensuring that they are adhered to by all stakeholders, including himself.


It was wrong for the president to seek redress from national courts when the same EFA Statutes provides for dispute resolution mechanisms. In terms of the statutes, one or more of these three mechanisms should have been employed, namely, the Executive Committee, Disciplinary Committee and the General Assembly. The Executive Committee, as the administrative organ of the organisation led by the president himself was the appropriate forum. Additionally, if the president felt these two members were acting in contravention of the statutes, ought to have referred the matter to the Disciplinary Committee, a committee vested with disciplinary powers. Furthermore, the president’s last refuge should have been the General Assembly, the supreme organ of the organisation. This organ is clothed with powers to investigate, dismiss and or elect the Executive Committee or a member of the Executive, and many more.


As things stand at the moment, football is at the crossroads, it is the General Assembly that can intervene and reign in the feuding Executive Members into order. Failure by the Assembly to act will render their powers useless as no future executive member shall respect them. As the phrase say, if you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Without any malicious intent, this is respectfully directed to you Mr president. Furthermore, as a parting shot my dear readers, I will repeat the African proverb that when two bulls fight the grass suffers; unfortunately, in Eswatini four bulls are fighting; cry the beloved football.

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