Zifa distances self from PSL circus

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) yesterday distanced itself from the chaos that characterised the opening of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership which saw the match pitting reigning champions FC Platinum and ZPC Kariba failing to take off.

The game was scheduled for the National Sports Stadium after ZPC Kariba’s home ground Nyamhunga Stadium had been deemed unfit to host premiership matches by the First Instance Body (FIB).

However, Zifa issued a statement on the match-day certifying Nyamhunga to host matches following renovations to meet at least the minimum standards of Fifa Club Licensing as required by the football mother body.

Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela yesterday said their correspondence regarding the clearance of Nyamhunga on Saturday had nothing to do with the already scheduled Premier Soccer League (PSL) fixtures.

“Our statement had nothing to do with the PSL fixtures. PSL had communicated with both teams on the venue of the match,” Gwesela said to the Daily News.

“The stadium was inspected Saturday morning and we had to communicate the development, not that we wanted to influence anything.”

However, ZPC Kariba communications manager Fadzai Chisveto insisted they were left frustrated having notified the PSL at least over a week before the start of the league matches on the completion of the renovations.

“The stadium was actually inspected on Friday evening,” Chisveto said. 

“The issues that were raised by the FIB were actually addressed way before the fixtures were released. We contacted people from the PSL to come but they refused. Zifa at first said they were tied up and only managed to come on Friday and okayed the stadium but it was too late.”

Chisveto said they are aware of the consequences likely to come their way.

FC Platinum are likely to be awarded with the three points after officials at the National Sports Stadium awarded them the match after ZPC Kariba failed to turn up.

PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare said they are still waiting for the report from the officials but insist they released fixtures in consultation with both clubs.

“When we released fixtures we consulted with the home team first and communicated with their opponents. So for now I cannot say much until we receive the report from the match officials,” Bare said.

“Officials’ report will determine the action to be taken.”

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