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MBABANE – Nsingizini Hotspurs President Derrick Shiba feels Sihlangu should be dominated by players from the best-performing teams.

Shiba was yesterday hosted on the Eswatini Broadcast and Information Services (EBIS) Down Memory Lane programme by Donatus Zwane, who is fondly known as ‘Inkonotja’. His comments come at a time when the Dominic Kunene-led side are enduring a poor start to the World Cup qualifiers, with zero points and no goal scored after three games.
Shiba felt the national team should at least be dominated by Mbabane Swallows players and the rest of the teams that finished in the top four in the league. Green Mamba, Nsingizini and Young Buffaloes completed the top four.

“The settings at Sihlangu are wrong. We need the Swallows mindset at Sihlangu. At the moment, we’re living in the past. At least 70 per cent of the national team should be formed around the top four. Let’s select players according to achievements in the league. “Currently, the mindset at Sihlangu cannot take the team forward,” he said. In the interview Shiba also got to share his team’s vision and suggestions on how the country’s football could be improved.  He said the name Hotspurs was inspired by the visit of English side, Tottenham Hotspurs, who were in the country in 1984 to play Liverpool in a friendly game at Somhlolo National Stadium in the Royal Swazi Sun Challenge.


When asked if he could accept an offer to lead Eswatini football one day, Shiba responded in the affirmative. Fans who called in during the programme sang Shiba praises and felt he was the right man to take football forward and even qualify the national team for the World Cup. Shiba, who guided the team to a historic podium finish in the league in under three years, said they were still waiting for a verdict from football authorities on their bid to play continental football.  Notably, the team has a partnership with DStv Premiership side Amazulu. Amazulu Chairman, Sandile Zungu, also spoke in the programme, throwing their full weight behind Nsingizini and assuring that they could assist them in hosting at the iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, during Confederation of African Football (CAF) games.

Muzi Radebe, who is the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Marketing and Communications Officer, felt that Shiba was entitled to his own opinion, the football mother body could not comment much on the issue, as player selection was done by the technical team. “The technical team selects every qualifying player,” he said.
(Additional information by Ashmond Nzima)

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