We are the victims: PSL

HARARE - Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) emergency committee spokesperson Lewis Uriri yesterday told Parliament they are not to blame for the ongoing saga with the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) over playoffs.

Clubs and Zifa are at loggerheads following October’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) which voted to have four teams relegated instead of two.

The Premiership’s 16 clubs have since approached the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) to make a ruling on the matter.

Zifa has already suspended PSL and Highlanders chairperson Peter Dube in connection with the matter while Uriri was also suspended before being reinstated.

Appearing before a parliamentary portfolio committee on Sports and Recreation yesterday, Uriri said: “The PSL is not disorganised but today we are simply unprepared because our constitutional structure has been unlawfully interfered with and we are working on regularising that position.

“And before we can have, for instance, an acting chairperson we have to go through electoral process that is governed by the electoral code and we cannot start doing that before we know the fate of . . . Dube.

“Our structures have been rendered dysfunctional and we are only working on the basis of necessity and accrued respect that some of the comments that have been directed at us are grossly unjustified and unfair.

“What you will appreciate most from the position of information, this attack and siege on the PSL . . . we are actually the victims.”

With some of the parliamentarians blaming the current impasse on personal fights between the football leaders, Uriri felt otherwise.

“The suggestion that there appears to be a personality clash between certain people and it was suggested that ‘hatidi kuti bhora riuraiwe na (Philip) Chiyangwa naUriri’ (we don’t want Chiyangwa and Uriri to destroy football),” he said.

“I have been in football administration since 2001 and I have actually indicated that my time is up, I have no ambitions whatsoever in football. I do not intend and I placed it on public record that I will not run for any football office ever again.”

The Cas this week acknowledged receiving the application for it to start proceedings in the impasse between the two parties.

Zifa has been given 10 days to submit their written submissions in response to the arguments raised by the PSL clubs in their application.

Zifa were not represented at yesterday’s hearing after asking the committee to be excused.

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