Mbabane: Winners of the Ingwenyama Cup are yet to receive their prizes, over three months after the finals were staged on March 8 at Somhlolo National Stadium.
Chairman of the Ingwenyama Cup main committee Prince Hlangabeza revealed in an exclusive interview with this publication that focus is currently on the fight against the novel Covid-19 pandemic and that immediately government gave the green light, winners will get what is due to them. The Ingwenyama Cup is a football and culture competition sponsored to the tune E4 million per edition by Sincephetelo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF).
His Majesty King Mswati III is the face and brainchild of the tournament that beautifully blends football and culture and the March 8 finals, the last public event attended by the monarch before a state of emergency was declared as Covid-19 spread like wildfire across the globe.
“Nothing changes; this is their (winners) money as they were presented by His Majesty. Even if they can get it in 2046, it is the winners’ money. The idea is to have full focus on the fight against coronavirus. As the Ingwenyama Cup committee, we are happy that out tournament saw the light of day unlike other tournaments. It is important that we do not confuse the nation as winners will get what is due to them after the Covid-19 scare and immediately government gives the green light that we do not have coronavirus in the country, we will present,” the senior prince said.
Green Mamba beat Mbabane Highlanders 2-0 courtesy of goals from Mcolisi Mkhontfo and Mthunzi ‘Xavi’ Mkhontfo as the Caleb Ngwenya’s charges took home the lucrative E1.4 million first prize. Highlanders got E550 000 for being runner’s up.
His Majesty King Mswati III was joined by Inkosi Mabhudu of Tembu tribe as over 12 000 emaSwati converged in a spectacle broadcast live all over the African continent by pay-per-view channel, SuperSport.
Former Malanti Chiefs South African born striker Charles Molopo is set to walk away with the Top Goal scorer’s prize of E10 000 after netting six goals in the tournament.
The E530 000 for the runners-up showed an increase of E20 000 from the last edition’s prize which was won by the same Mbabane Highlanders. Young Buffaloes beat Highlanders 4-1 in the 2019 finals, to end Mbabane Swallows dominance in the tournament after the capital city giants won the richly sponsored competition three times on the trot since inception.
Losing semi-finalists, Tambankulu Callies and Moneni Pirates will have E420 000 which indicated a E15 000 increase. This also means each losing semi-finalist will get E210 000 each and then E75 000 each for losing quarter-finalists which is unchanged.
INGWENYAMA CUP PRIZES
Champions: Green Mamba (E1.4 million)
Runners-up: Mbabane Highlanders (E530 000)
Semi-finalists: Tambankulu Callies and Moneni Pirates (E210 000 each)
Quarterfinalists: E75 000 each
Top Goal Scorer: Charles Molopo (E10 000)