Times of Eswatini

Poor refereeing, no improvemen­t – PLE, ‘ Scara’


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The black and white capital city giants had been charged for contraveni­ng two counts and were fined E40 000 for the commotion that occurred at Mavuso Sports Centre a fortnight ago, when Highlander­s supporters blocked the tunnel and failed to control their supporters. This was in their match against Young Buffaloes which ended goalless.

They were charged for contraveni­ng Articles 10.6.2, 10.6.5 and 10.6.7 according to the reports that were brought before the Lawyer Thulani Sibandze- chaired committee. However, when delivering the judgment, the team was found guilty under charges from Articles 10.6.2 and 10.6.7. The prosecutor, before the DC delivered the judgment revealed that the office of the PLE was also concerned about the issue of poor refereeing that was witnessed in some of the elite league games, which led to supporters taking the law into their own hands. He noted that this absurd behaviour by the supporters has landed the teams into trouble with the DC as it frowns against such misconduct. Capital city rivals Swallows and Highlander­s are the most affected sides as the latter has contribute­d over E100 000 so far, while the former has contribute­d E70 000 as well as playing some games behind closed doors.

“The PLE knows that there are

some concerns by the teams on the standard of refereeing in our league, but that does not justify for such misconduct by the supporters,” Manda said.

He went on to say that the PLE had tried all means to curb the issue of poor officiatin­g in games under their banner, but there was no improvemen­t. He also urged the teams to control their fans as their behaviour came hard on the pockets of the owners of the clubs.


“This trend is on the rise and teams should help the PLE to curb this as the organisati­on is at pain explaining to the sponsor on such issues,” he said.

Also having a say on the issue in a separate interview was Kaizer Chiefs and national team Sihlangu legend Absalom ‘ Scara’ Thindwa. He said for the country to attract sponsors, the refereeing standard should be at the right level for the elite stage, which is also internatio­nal level. The legend revealed this on Thursday af

ternoon after a sponsorshi­p presentati­on worth E825 000 from KFC at Mountain View Hotel to the Scara Thindwa Foundation.

“I have seen in the media that many teams were crying foul about the bad refereeing that was displayed across the games, which is not good because it then leads to the image of the league suffering, supporters taking matters into their own hands because of believing that games are decided by referees needed to be addressed so that football in the country would improve,” he said.

The Kaizer Chiefs legend went on to say that sponsors were ‘ like human beings’. “Sponsors are selling and if they are able to sell, then they will be able to give you money. The money that they will give you comes from the activities that they are doing,” Thindwa said.

He also mentioned that for Eswatini football to have sponsors, there should be a self- introspect­ion on how the sport in the country was being handled. He said good marketing of the local game was crucial to attract the sponsors needed.

“There are few teams in South Africa that have been able to get sponsorshi­p after COVID- 19 besides teams like Chiefs and Pirates that have had their sponsorshi­p prior. New teams are struggling because companies are still trying to recover and once they have recovered, we want to believe that they would be able to spend more money even in the local league, but it must be marketed well.

“It starts from the young kids who need to be developed in a proper way. When kids get the right coaching methods from a young age they grow up with the right basics and the right thinking. By the time they grow up, they would be ready. The tournament­s should also be many in the country so that the kids can be able to solve problems inside the field of play at a young age so that when coaches come into play, they would have known how to take decisions at an early stage,” he said.

‘ Scara’ also expressed his joy at the mention of education also endorsing the sports programme for schools to give children the opportunit­y to make the right choices and pick their talents early. The Referees Associatio­n ( RA) asked not to comment on the matter and referred us to the Referees Committee ( RC). The latter’s Chairman Sipho Kunene was sought but in vain as his cellphone was constantly in busy mode. When it finally rang, he did not answer.

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