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MBABANE – Green Mamba are racing against time to secure a venue for their CAF Champions League game.

The 2022/23 MTN Premier League champions will represent the country in the 2023/24 TotalEnergies Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League. They face Mozambique’s Uniao Desporetiva in the two-legged preliminary round. According to the draw, Inyoka Eluhlazane will host the Mozambican side. The Correctional Services outfit have found themselves between a hard surface and a rock in finding the venue to host their Mozambican counterparts, as the country does not have a stadium that meets CAF standards.


This is after both the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and CAF banned Somhlolo National Stadium as well as the Mavuso Sports Centre from hosting Category A  matches. The ban came with challenges for the country’s CAF envoys and the national team Sihlangu as they had to seek for alternative venues for their home games. The champions’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mandla Sibiya, last week revealed that the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) requested them, alongside CAF Confederation Cup representatives Young Buffaloes, to inspect the Mavuso Sports Centre. The idea was to try and negotiate with CAF for a temporary licence to play their home preliminary matches there. Sibiya disclosed that they were told that the centre was out of bound as it was currently under renovations for the official opening of the 2023 Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) Trade Fair.


“We were told that Mavuso is out of bound as it will undergo renovations soon for the opening of the trade fair,” Sibiya said. He said they were then left with no option, but to search for another venue in the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and they got the Lucas Moripe Stadium. Unfortunately, this facility also does not meet the CAF requirements. “We are going back to the drawing board after the failed plan, as you will remember that we went to Mozambique, but they charged us E400 000 per game, which we can’t afford,” he said. He also said after failing to secure the Zimpete Stadium in Mozambique and the Lucas Moripe in RSA, they were left with one option. “I will be going to RSA to enquire about the Orlando Stadium, as we were advised that it was much cheaper than the Mbombela Stadium,” he explained.

Meanwhile, no comment could be drawn from Buffaloes as CEO Sandile Gwebu’s phone was not available on MTN network by the time this report was compiled. The army side will face South Africa’s DStv Premiership side Sekhukhune United in the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup and are in the same situation as Green Mamba over the venue to host their home game.