Flame Lilly, Whawha are safe – ZPS

HARARE - Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) has allayed any fears that they will not be able to sponsor their two teams, Whawha and Flame Lilly, who were promoted into the top flight next year.

Whawha became the first lower division team to be promoted into the Castle Premiership for the 2015 season when they won the Central Region Division One League back in October.

The Gweru-based side, who are under the guidance of former Zimbabwe international forward Luke Petros, starved off the stiff challenge from Midlands State University and ZRP Beitbridge to book their place in the top flight.

At the weekend, Flame Lilly, who were under the tutelage of former Black Rhinos gaffer Nesbert Saruchera, sealed their ticket into the Castle Premiership next season when they beat ZRP FC 2-0 to win the World Navi Northern Region Division One League ahead of Gunners and Mushowani.

Both teams are owned and bankrolled by ZPS and after the debacle involving Triangle and Hippo Valley at the start of the year, there were fears that one of the two teams might be sacrificed.

Both teams were owned by Tongaat Hulett, who decided to dispose of the Hippo Valley franchise as they felt their resources would be stretched by financing two Premiership teams.

ZPS Chief Superintendent Elizabeth Banda, however, revealed that the correctional services were prepared to bankroll both Flame Lilly and Whawha.

“We are very happy with what our two teams have achieved this season. We are going to do everything in our powers to ensure that we assist them and they have everything they need to participate in the PSL,” Banda told the Daily News yesterday.

“It was our dream to have at least one team playing in the top league and we are happy that we now have two teams competing next season. Having two teams in the league is a bonus for us.

“We would like to thank the management, coaches, players and all the supporters who were behind this success.”

According to Banda, the ZPS Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi will in the next few weeks honour both clubs for their success.

Banda said they are hoping Flame Lilly and Whawha take a cue from ZPC Kariba by challenging for honours in their first season in the top flight league.

ZPC had a fairy tale debut season in the Premiership and were just 90 minutes away from being crowned champions before they lost their last game of the season 3-2 to CAPS United at the weekend.

That result opened the door for Dynamos, who beat How Mine 2-0, to win their fourth title on the trot.

“We got a lot of inspiration from what ZPC Kariba did this season and we are saying to ourselves that our teams should not go into the league to make up number but they have a chance to compete,” said Banda.

The correctional services fund their clubs by enlisting their players, coaches and support staff into the ZPS were they are guaranteed monthly salaries.

Flame Lilly also have a shirt sponsorship deal with BancEASY, a subsidiary of BancABC, who are responsible for providing the club with kits, transport and winning bonuses.

Comments (3)

I thought there was a clause which prohibits organisations/ individuals from having more than one team in the same league. I stand to be corrected

njabulo Sithole - 26 November 2014

no money to buy food for prisoners but money to waste sponsoring two football teams. `misplaced priorities

mdhara - 26 November 2014

If my memory saves me right FIFA pro hibts teams owned by the same company/individual from playing in the same league.Thats what caused Tungat Hullet to stop sp[onsoring Hippo Valley (now known as Chiredzi FC)

LennonS - 27 November 2014

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