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‘Shakes’ Mashaba’s E260 000 jackpot!
By BHEKISISA MAGONGO - SWAZI TIMES-22-Aug-2009
MBABANE – The failure to secure a sponsor for the COSAFA Senior Challenge could prove costly for the National Football Associ-ation of Swaziland (NFAS) decision to hire a full-time coach for the national team, Sihlangu
The football mother body will still fork out about E260 000 in the salaries of Sihlangu coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba for the remainder of the year despite that Sihlangu will be virtually inactive – on the international competition scene. The coach earns a staggering E65 000 monthly salary. He earns E15 000 more than the country’s Prime Minister in the latest released government salary structure.
Sihlangu will only play friendly games during the stipulated FIFA dates for the remaining part of the year after bombing out of the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers last year.
The next official interna-tional competition Sihlangu will participate in is the Confederations of Afri-can Football Championships (CHANA) qualifiers only set to start next year.
The COSAFA Senior Chall-enge was thrown into disarray since the withdrawal of South Africa’s Mpuma-langa Provincial Govern-ment citing economic meltd-own more than a month ago.
Zimbabwe joined in the fray in a bid to host the event but it did not have the E5.6 million needed to host the sub-continental event but according to information from Zimbabwe’s state-owned leading newspaper, The Herald, ZIFA and the Ministry of Tourism, who were eager to host the event, is finding it a tad too much to secure a sponsor.
South Africa were the last champions of the regional tournament, following their triumph in Witbank last year. Sihlangu were tossed out via a coin after being level on points and goals with Madaga-scar. FA CEO Frederick Mngo-mezulu yesterday said they had still not heard anything regarding the tournament.
"We will have to wait for a correspondence from COS-AFA on the latest regarding the tournament. As soon as we are updated we will notify you," he said.
The present scenario means Sihlangu will only get to play in an official tournament early next year in the domesticated version of the Africa Cup of Nations known as CHAN.
The COSAFA Senior Chall-enge Cup was the team’s last hope for an official tourna-ment this season, after crus-hing out of the ongoing 2010 AFCON/World Cup Quali-fiers.
However, the FA has annou-nced a long list of interna-tional friendly matches for the team during the next four FIFA weeks before year end.
The team will next month play Namibia’s Desert War-riors away. The next games will be confirmed at a later date
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