PSL season changeover set for 2020

HARARE - ZIFA president Felton Kamambo believes the Premier Soccer League (PSL) football calendar can only be changed to August-May in 2020 after more consultations are done with all stakeholders.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has recommended that all the leagues on the continent be aligned to run between August and May just like the European football calendar.

Caf has already aligned their club and national team competitions to this calendar with next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals to be held between June and July.

The African Champions League and Confederation Cup have also been aligned to run between August and May.

At this month’s Zifa Annual General Meeting (AGM), the PSL had tabled a proposal for the country’s football calendar to follow suit but it was shot down.

The 2019 Castle Lager Premiership season will commence in March and will conclude in December with the lower leagues also following suit.

“The Zifa AGM held on the 16th of December 2018 resolved that the 2019 PSL football season will kick off in March 2019 as per current league format,” Kamambo said in a statement yesterday.

“The Zifa congress further resolved that the PSL will engage stakeholders on the proposal to shift the kick off dates to August as recommended by Caf.

“In pursuant to the above..... PSL was therefore directed to come up with a road map on their stakeholder engagement process on the proposed shift with a view to implement the proposal in 2020.”

Zimbabwe previously tried to adopt this August-May football calendar during the 1998-99 season but it was a dismal failure as most matches were washed away. Most stadia in the local game do not have proper drainage facilities which made it impossible to play matches during heavy downpours between December and February.

Fans also stayed away as most stadia do not have sheds to cover them from rainfall during matches.

Speaking shortly after his side reached the group stages of the 2018-19 African Champions League, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza said: “When we talk of changing the calendar, we have to look at our climate in Zimbabwe; does our climate allow us to play football in December? No it doesn’t, we don’t have the stadia. What will happen when it starts raining?”

Comments (1)

I hope that nobody changes our current season because it wont work given our current infrastructure and weather. Not every league in Europe uses the August to May. Sweden and Russia, for example, given their special circumstances. UEFA makes sure there is very few Euro matches in December and none in January to accommodate. So CAF should know that Africa is a continent with varying climates and cannot impose a calendar on any country. UEFA doesn't and so CAF shouldn't and ZIFA must make sure our season stays as is.

Inyika - 28 December 2018

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