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MBABANE – One of the country’s tournament trophies that has been kept with a traditional healer based in Malkerns for over nine months was finally released on Thursday night when a top official fetched it.

According to one football administrator, the trophy which was won by one of the country’s PLS teams last year was placed with the traditional healer as security after the team failed to settle what was due to the traditional healer after he allegedly helped them win the trophy.

“The team verbally agreed with the traditional healer that a certain percentage of the prize money would be paid to him should the team win that particular tournament,” said one concerned soccer administrator from another team. “The results turned out positive for the team but then they failed to live up to their promise.

The traditional healer then insisted that the team leave behind the trophy until payment was made. He also promised the team that with the cup in his possession he could also help them defend the trophy if the tournament is hosted but only if they paid him,” added the administrator.

“The incident happened last year. Following serious negotiations between the team director and the traditional healer the trophy was eventually released on Thursday night at a reasonable fee”, said the administrator.

Swazi News has learnt that the story had also attracted interest from South African media who are prepared to name the team, director, traditional healer and the tournament in which the trophy is contested in due course. Practices and beliefs in muti in the game of football locally have made headlines on numerous occasions and this is not new.

Some sponsors have also appealed against such practices in the game of football. Many teams including sponsors will be banking on such reports not being made public as this will tarnish not only the image of the game in the country but also the sponsors of football tournaments.

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