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MBABANE – “Coaches who hero- worship players are killing them.”

This statement was made by Mbabane Swallows team medic Samkeliso Mdluli on national radio, the Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS 1) Sports Show, which was hosted by Siphesihle ‘Sihlabani’ Nxumalo yesterday. This was after Mdluli, who is a nurse by profession, was requested to share his experiences on what caused players and other athletes to collapse when playing or exercising and how this could be avoided.
Mdluli revealed that globally, governing bodies for all sporting codes not just soccer, advised that before a player or athlete got down to train, he or she should first do a pre-competition medical assessment, which helps to check one’s health. “This helps to identify any sickness in the body that was not known; these sicknesses then start showing signs when pushing the body to a limit,” Mdluli said.


He then disclosed that what they had observed in the country while going about with their scope of work, was the challenge that the physical trainers did not have a programme of training the players or athletes. “You find that there are players who are being hero worshipped; at times these players even if they don’t attend training all the week, you find them in the starting line-up on match-day. This is not good for the body,” he said. Mdluli also said another factor which caused the collapse of players while in the field of play was the use of drugs. He said smoking destroyed the nerves transporting blood in the body and it affected the flow of blood, which in turn forced the heart to need extra energy to pump it.

He further said another factor was from team managements who liked certain players, even if that player was injured, they force him or her to play.
The team medic finally revealed that the current Eswatini Football Association Medical Committee chaired by Welcome Motsa was working on having what is called heartbeat monitoring belts, to determine the heart beats of a player, which he said was essential to the life value of a player. Mdluli said it was dangerous for teams not to have such important equipment as it helps to monitor players. Just this past week, Moneni Pirates attacking midfielder Yeki ‘Madumane’ Khumalo had to come back from Italy where he had gone for assessment after failing medical test with heart related issues.