…well or­gan­ised league will end AFCON, World Cup drought-Eto'o

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

- Cas­tle Lager is plan­ning on bring­ing leg­endary African foot­baller Sa­muel Eto'o to Swazi­land this year.

The two-time AFCON win­ner was on Thurs­day named as the Cas­tle Lager Africa Fives tour­na­ment Brand Am­bas­sador at a lav­ish cer­e­mony in Jo­han­nes­burg. With Swazi­land among the six coun­tries that will par­take in the five-a-side tour­na­ment, there are al­ready plans to bring the leg­endary for­ward to the coun­try ac­cord­ing to Cas­tle Lager Africa Brand Man­ager Thomas Lawrence.

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"Look, we would like to bring Sa­muel to Swazi­land. But ob­vi­ously at this point it is still early to con­firm any­thing but we def­i­nitely want him to go there with Swazi­land among the coun­tries that will par­take in the Cas­tle Lager Africa Fives. Ob­vi­ously right now it is still early days be­cause it will all de­pend on his sched­ule be­cause he is still play­ing in Turkey but if ev­ery­thing works out well, he will come," he said yes­ter­day.

Mean­while, Eto'o him­self sounded

- African foot­balling great Sa­muel Eto'o has called on foot­ball au­thor­i­ties in Swazi­land to or­gan­ise the lo­cal league very well in or­der to end the coun­try's long wait for an ap­pear­ances in a ma­jor foot­ball in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment.

Eto'o has won the Africa Cup of Na­tions (AFCON) twice with Cameroon while also rep­re­sent­ing his coun­try at the FIFA World Cup on six oc­ca­sions. Swazi­land mean­while has never qual­i­fied for any of the two ma­jor in­ter­na­tional

OCCER

ex­cited at the prospect of com­ing to Swazi­land when quizzed if he would be will­ing to visit.

"If you in­vite me, I will come. There are plans to visit some of the coun­tries who will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Cas­tle Lager Africa Fives so hope­fully we can also come to Swazi­land. I love trav­el­ling and I love Africa," he said.

The Cas­tle Lager Africa Fives will be­gin on Fe­bru­ary 1 and end on May 31with the fi­nal set to be staged in Lusaka, tour­na­ments.

In­ter­viewed yes­ter­day morn­ing, the foot­ball star ad­vised that the coun­try would have to have a well or­gan­ised and pro­fes­sional league as this would make ad­vanc­ing to these tour­na­ments eas­ier."Firstly, Swazi­land should or­gan­ise the lo­cal league very well. This is very im­por­tant as it will pro­vide a good base. Se­condly they need to have good man­agers run­ning foot­ball, with longterm vi­sions. Af­ter that, ev­ery­thing will be pos­si­ble,” he said. Zam­bia.The win­ners of the tour­na­ment will win an all ex­penses paid trip to the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Rus­sia and will travel there to­gether with Eto'o. The tour­na­ment is open to all am­a­teur foot­ballers. To par­tic­i­pate, a player will need to buy a pro­mo­tional six pack Cas­tle Lager at a par­tic­i­pat­ing out­let and then regis­ter a team of six play­ers. Eto'o, now 36, has played for Euro­pean gi­ants FC Barcelona, In­ter Mi­lan and Chelsea dur­ing in his il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer.

Asked to ad­vise lo­cal play­ers on how to make it abroad, the Cameroo­nian born star urged them to dom­i­nate in the do­mes­tic league first be­fore they can think of mov­ing abroad.

He said play­ers should strive to be best in the coun­try be­fore think­ing of mov­ing abroad.

"The play­ers first need to dom­i­nate the Swazi league. Then they can move to another coun­try. It is im­por­tant not to make bad choices like go­ing to Europe when you are not pre­pared.

Neig­bours South Africa will host the 2018 Zone VI Club championships at the coastal city of Dur­ban in De­cem­ber.

In­for­ma­tion gath­ered is that South Africa has been handed the host­ing rights of the re­gional club championships by the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee.

The de­vel­op­ments will come as good news for the coun­try as lo­cal teams are likely to at­tend the 2018 in­stall­ment af­ter last year’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives Cor­rec­tional and RSP pulled out of the tour­na­ment at the eleventh hour due to fi­nan­cial con­straints.

The two sides even­tu­ally opted to take part in the un­fan­cied Ulundi Cup af­ter fail­ing to col­lec­tively raise the E60 000 needed to take part in

VOL­LEY­BALL

IT’S ON: Vol­ley­ball play­ers dur­ing their pre­vi­ous game.

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