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Gerald Phiri’s cup win under dispute

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PERFORMING WONDERS IN FOREIGN LAND—Phiri

Controversy surrounds Malawian coach Gerald Phiri’s lifting of the inaugural MoMo Cup with his Eswatini Premier League side Nsingizini Hotspurs, with Moneni Pirates vowing to lodge a complaint over the alleged flouting of rules and regulations of the competition.

Nsingizini edged Pirates 2-1 in extra time after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.

According to new.observer.org.sz, Pirates senior officials expressed dissatisfaction with the decision to take the match to extra time after the stalemate, arguing that the rules clearly state that the match should have gone straight to penalties after 90 minutes.

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They quoted Article 13.2 of the 2022 MoMo Cup Rules and Regulations which reads: ‘If no winner is decided within the 90 minutes in the play-offs, semi-finals and finals, penalty shoot– outs shall take place, up to the sudden death penalties, if still no winner is decided after the normal five penalties from each club have taken.”

Pirates Marketing Manager Sibusiso Nkambule said what transpired in the final was shocking.

“The rules are clear about what should happen after 90 minutes if both teams are in a deadlock. Anyway, our legal team is working on the matter. We decided to proceed with the match to avoid a skirmish which could have erupted if it was stopped during extra time,” Nkambule told the online publication.

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Premier League of Eswatini Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Makhanya said he was not aware of the protest.

Nsingizini Hotspurs Marketing and Communications Officer Mphikeleli Dlamini could not be drawn to comment on the matter.

According to new.observer.org.sz, Fifa-accredited referee Leticia Vienna was in charge of the final sponsored by MTN FINTECH Eswatini with the tournament having started with a voting process.

Pirates coach Coaster Magongo is quoted as having rued missed scoring chances.

“We conceded a silly penalty in the added time that saw us losing the match. All in all, nothing is lost,” Magongo said.

Phiri dedicated the trophy to Nsingizini fans, according to new.observer.org.sz.

“I dedicate the trophy to the supporters after they voted the team to the MoMo Cup. I would like to thank the players and president of the club for their support,” he said.

Phiri was fired at Blue Eagles despite rescuing the policemen from relegation in their last match of the 2021 season, beating Mighty Mukuru Wanderers 3-1.

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