Mbabane: Government turned the exhibition centre side of Mavuso to a hospital to accommodate Covid-19 patients in previous months.
Now, with senior national team Sihlangu expected to host Congo Brazzaville on the venue November 16 in an Africa Cup of Nations 2021 qualifier, there are concerns over the temporal hospital proximity to the playing venue known as Mavuso Sports Centre.
This is despite Eswatini Football Association (EFA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Frederick Mngomezulu’s assurance that the Sports Centre meets CAF standards and that the was no need for Sihlangu to host its matches in neighbouring countries.
” According to our knowledge Mavuso Sport Centre is capable to host international matches. We can only upload government for restarting football as it is the norm across the world, it will be EFAs’ duty to ensure that football will be played in the safest way and according to the laid down covid-19 regulations”. Ngomezulu said.
Sihlangu have two crucial AFCON matches next month, an away clash with Congo Brazzaville and a home game against Guinea-Bissau as they attempt to salvage Group I.
The games will save as new coach Dominic Kunene first in charge since appointment back in February.
Government announced a gradual reopening of organised top level football on Thursday morning.
“With AFCON Qualifiers set to resume in November, as well as the COSAFA Cup and CAF inter club tournaments, Eswatini is obligated to honour these games,” Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini said when addressing editors at Hilton Garden Inn inside the capital.
Failure to honour these CAF games would have resulted to heavy fines as well as subsequent suspension of various funding from both FIFA and CAF that needless to say drives much of the football development in the country.
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