Mbabane: It is official, national team Sihlangu will not play any match this year.
The year 2020 has been haunted by the novel Coronavirus which has infected about 11.8 million with a reported 543 595 fatalities as of Wednesday, July 8. The FIFA-Confederations Working Group has resolved during a FIFA Council meeting held via video conference that CAF international matches planned for October and November this year be moved to 2021.
Effectively, this means that Sihlangu coaches; Dominic Kunene (Head Coach), Gcina ‘Magiyane’ Dlamini (Assistant Coach), Anthony Mdluli (Goalkeeper Coach) and Mbuso Gina (Fitness Coach) who were appointed in February by the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) will continue to rake in salaries while doing absolutely nothing. Note worthy is that the quartet were yet to lead Sihlangu in any match prior to the spread of Covid-19 which is threatening the human race. Kunene is on a reported E30 000 salary while the other members of his technical team take home E15 000 each. This means that EFA spends E75 000 on the quartet per month- amounting to E900 000 per year.
As a result of an extensive consultation process with the confederations and stakeholders across the football landscape, the Covid-19 FIFA-Confederations Working Group agreed to put forward five proposals in relation to the Men’s International Calendar in the wake of the pandemic, which were subsequently passed by the FIFA Council. The Council unanimously approved to postpone the September 2020 window for CAF, AFC, Concacaf and the OFC.
On that regard, the Council further approved to extend the June 2021 window for the above mentioned confederations by seven days to facilitate the playing of four games instead of the current two matches. This means that Sihlangu will have a jam-packed 2021 on the international stage especially with the ongoing AFCON qualifiers when the ‘nations’s pride’ is in Group I alongside African powerhouse Senegal, Congo Brazaville and Guinea-Bissau. Cameroon will host the next AFCON finals which will be the 33rd edition.
FIFA in its report continues that, “The Covid-19 FIFA-Confederations Working Group will continue their work of monitoring the situation in each confederation, discussing alternative solutions and, if required, putting forward any further proposals to the FIFA Council”.
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