LOBAMBA – The much anticipated MTN League potential title decider between Royal Leopard and Mbabane Swallows was called off even before kick under controversial circumstances.
The decision it was said that the Somhlolo artificial pitch was unplayable due to last night rain, but the about 300 fans who paid their hard earned E30 were openly opposed to the decision by Match Commissioner Enock Nkambule. There was an attempt to clear the water-logged corner spot on the southern side of the pitch with a lawn mower but all that proved futile as the game was called off.
The match had been scheduled to kick off at 7pm, but the match officials inspected the pitch and monitored the situation for about 45 minutes. During the waiting period, there was consultation among the teams officials, before Premier League of Swaziland (PLS) executive committee member Peter ‘Touch’ Magagula had a brief chat with Nkambule, thereafter a decision was taken in a meeting that was held behind closed doors between the match officials and the clubs’ two captains Siboniso ‘Rocco’ Malambe and Tony ‘TT’ Tsabedze.
Malambe said they were ready for the match, but could do nothing at the cancellation.
“We wanted to play it and get done with it because it is a title decider. But we have to go back and prepare and wait for the PLS to notify about the next fixture,” he said.
Tsabedze also said as players they were itching for the clash, but they could do nothing because the cancellation was a result of natural causes.
“We take what they say, but the truth is that we wanted to play the game and see where it puts us in the race,” he said.
PLS CEO John Mazibuko said it was unfortunate that the bad weather forced the cancellation, but stated that the situation has presented with a fixture problem given the stage of the league.
“We will have to discuss with the two teams and see what can be done, but we hope that the other one slated for next week will materialise,” he said.
Last night match was called off due to a water-logged pitch, but the weather cleared later on , prompting suggestions from the spectators to have it allowed to play. The clash has the potential to decide the destiny of this year’s league trophy between the two giants. Leopard are currently sitting five points clear of second placed Swallows, and any result last night would have given clear hint on who wins it this season.