We need cool heads now

HARARE - It is high time the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) put an end to their stand-off over relegation and promotion of teams into the topflight.

The impasse began following last October’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) when councillors voted to relegate four teams  from the topflight instead of two.

Initially, it had been agreed at the 2015 Zifa AGM that only two teams would drop down while the four champions from Divison One would take part in play-offs with the top two teams winning promotion.

However, that was thrown into disarray following the October AGM, with the PSL clubs vehemently refusing to accept the outcome.

Zifa responded by suspending PSL and Highlanders chairperson Peter Dube for failing to control the clubs.

The PSL, on the other hand, approached the Court of Artbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland, which has already begun proceedings on the matter.

As the stand-off continued, Zifa also suspended CAPS United board chairperson Lewis Uriri, who is also leading the league’s Cas application.

It appeared common sense was now prevailing when both parties agreed to meet last weekend to find a solution. Uriri’s suspension was also lifted.

The only resolution agreed upon during that gathering was that only two teams would be relegated from the topflight while they failed to reach an agreement on how many teams would be promoted.

Then on Friday, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa released a statement saying that the four Divison One champions, Black Rhinos, Yadah FC, Bantu Rovers and Shabanie Mine would be promoted to make next season’s PSL have 18 teams.

Chiyangwa also suspended Uriri again, claiming that the Makepekepe boss had refused to accept an olive branch handed to him by the association.

While this fight continues between the PSL and Zifa, it is the game at large which is going to suffer.

Already, the PSL’s main sponsor Delta Beverages has expressed concern at the manner in which football leaders are at each other’s throats.

Delta were supposed to be negotiating a new sponsorship deal with the league but the talks have failed to take off because with Dube’s suspension, the PSL is rudderless.

Dynamos president Kenni Mubaiwa, who has been appointed to lead the PSL emergency committee, cannot enter into binding agreements since he is not a substantive leader.

With everything that is happening in our local football, there is a likelihood that the League might have no sponsor next season.

Comments (1)

Chickens are now coming home to roost!!!! The stupid Zifa councilors who accepted bribes and voted for the imbecile Chiyangwa should be stewing in their juices as they see football in the country being taken to the dogs!!!! Surely we cannot let this madness carry on. Where is the Sports and Recreation Commission when all this is happening? The Minister gave a statement of caution yes, but this madness needs action, not empty threats. Please let us have sanity for a change in football please. Both Cuthbert Dube and Phillip Chiyangwa are not good for Zimbabwe football, PERIOD!!!!

MR COOPER - 12 December 2016

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