Shabanie, Rhinos in limbo

HARARE - Despite winning their respective Division One leagues, Shabanie Mine and Black Rhinos do not know whether to celebrate or not.

The two teams, who won the Central Region and Northern Region second tier leagues, find themselves in limbo due to the confusion created by the decision passed by the Zifa assembly two weeks ago.

Zifa are yet to give a formal communication on the correct position after councillors voted to overturn the resolution to relegate two teams and promote two from the country’s four regions.

Winners from the country’s four regions — Northern, Southern, Eastern and Central — were supposed to battle it out in a play-off with the top two teams getting promotion to the top flight league.

However, all could now change after, Zifa councillors reversed the resolution they passed at their 2015 AGM of demoting two teams from the PSL.

This is despite calls by Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa to let the top flight relegate two teams.

On the current log standings, it means Chapungu, Tsholotsho, Mutare City Rovers and already relegated Border Strikers will be playing in the less fashionable league of division one next season.

Shabanie Mine treasurer Munyaradzi Nyashanu said they were in the dark about their current status despite clinching the Central Region championship at the weekend.

“We are happy to have won the championship in Central Region. Credit should go to the players for their hard work,” Nyashanu said.

“We are, however, still in limbo whether we are now in the top flight or we will go to the playoffs. The thing is we have not received any communication from Zifa and PSL yet regarding the correct position.”

Nyashanu, however, insisted the Chinda Boys will be ready for anything when a decision is finally made.

“I think it’s important for us to be prepared for anything. In the event that we go to the playoffs we just need to be ready and if we happen to go directly into the top flight it will still be good for us,” he said.

“The situation is confusing of course but it’s something beyond our control.”

Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela yesterday told the Daily News that no position regarding the playoffs has been reached yet before directing further questions to Chiyangwa whose phone was not reachable by the time of going to print.

Some of the PSL clubs who could be affected by Zifa’s shocking decision to relegate four teams at the end of the season have since vowed to take legal action.

Chapungu chief executive Chris Mukotekwa said: “To be honest with you as Chapungu we don’t subscribe to such highest level of unprofessionalism.

“They actually agreed that two teams will be demoted so what has changed now? I think these councillors need to be schooled on how to run football. It’s only two games before the season ends and...(they) want to turn the PSL into a Mickey Mouse league.”

Mutare City Rovers spokesperson Clayton Masekesa said: “As a team we are saying that’s unprofessional. It’s actually cowardice to say the least. We assume that the change at the last minute is strategically meant to benefit certain teams...while disadvantaging those who are already in the Premiership.”

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