Mbabane: The Eswatini Football Association (EFA) was left frustrated by government restrictions around COVID-19, mainly the suspension of the football sport and cancelled the 2019/20 season last Friday.
The decision has come with its consequences as the football governing body will not be able to tap into US$1 million (about E17 020 000) made available by FIFA for return to play protocols. EFA, through FIFA had the financial capacity to safely restart football, which among other things include purchasing of Coronavirus testing kits for daily players and officials monitoring, fumigate playing venues, isolate players and officials.
EFA had targeted wrapping up the remainder of the season in a 14-week plan to finish the MTN League and Eswatini Bank Cup competitions. However, government has, up to now failed to open medium and high risk sports. Understandably, Covid-19 cases have continued to surge with about 4 500 recorded to date.
EFA Chief Executive Officer Frederick Mngomezulu continueosly mentioned that the football community is part of the Wilder society and that it respect restrictions placed by government. A month ago, Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini opened other sports classified as low risk.
These were non-contact sports like golf, darts, equestrian and tennis, played under strict Covid-19 controls. FIFA had made available USD$1 million for each of its members with half of that strictly for women football.
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