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MBABANE – Former national team Sihlangu goalkeeper William ‘Cool Cat’ Shongwe feels the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) is ignoring some of the recommendations of the Sihlangu Indaba.

The Sihlangu indaba was held in January, this year, and it was aimed at developing a turnaround strategy to curb the current trend of poor national teams’ performance. Shongwe says EFA must keep this in mind as they proceed with the recruitment of Sihlangu coach.

Shongwe’s comments came in light of the recent alleged extension of Head Coach Dominic Kunene’s contract by two months. Reliable sources revealed to our sister publication Times of Eswatini, this week, that Kunene, along with his assistants received short-term contract renewals. His deputies in Sifiso ‘Nuro’ Ntibane and Ernest Mavuso’s contracts had expired at the end of March.  

The SuperSport Television Football Commentator expressed concern that the decision to reappoint the former Young Buffaloes coach was made in disregard of the discussions of the indaba. “They expressed themselves succinctly they don’t feel the coach may have the right qualification which gives him the right and he has been  given many  chances without yielding fruitful results. His squad selection also faced criticism,” Shongwe said. 

“I believe it was an oversight post-indaba, as the association failed to act correctly after the people voiced their opinions. It’s a failure on the part of the association because they did not address the concerns raised during the discussion,” ‘Cool Cat’ added.  He said if there were any challenges in following the advice of the stakeholders, such as financial constraints in hiring a high-calibre coach, the EFA should communicate these openly.

“ I have advised the association to be transparent with the public about their decisions,” he further said. Shongwe was the facilitator of the indaba. He also noted that the EFA could face criticism if Kunene’s appointment was merely not temporary. In what seems like a response to these concerns, the EFA has yesterday advertised the recruitment of a new national team coach.

Meanwhile, former Eswatini international Dennis ‘Yuki’ Masina believed in the assistant coaches. He, however, felt that the assistants must be the national teams’ development coaches. ‘Yuki’ said with unity in the technical bench, Sihlangu would deliver the desired results. The former Orlando Pirates player was speaking during the Sports Build-Up at UNESWA FM yesterday afternoon.

Reached for comment, Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Communications and Marketing Manager Muzi ‘Rhoo’ Radebe said the recent Sihlangu’s head coach job adverts answered everything. Radebe said most of Shongwe’s concerns were addressed by the required skills for the coach. He distanced himself from any knowledge of the extension and said the current post was open to anybody to apply.  Asked for an update on the recommendations of the Sihlangu Indaba, he said it was a work in progress.

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