Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
HERENTALS are contemplating closing down their entire football franchise, including their academy and female side, as they claim there is a vendetta against them.
The Harare side have been dragged to answer a second charge of bringing football into disrepute by allegedly attempting to influence the result of their league match against Bulawayo Chiefs last year.
The Students are already fighting to overturn a decision by the PSL disciplinary committee to dock them three points, which will see them being relegated into Division One, this year.
They were slapped with a $300 000 fine after being found guilty of allegedly influencing the result of their 3-0 win over Black Rhinos.
Herentals have appealed to the ZIFA Appeals Committee and also filed an application at the High Court.
However, The Herald On Saturday was informed yesterday that the club’s leaders are now looking at closing their football franchise because of the argument, that they feel the authorities are against their project.
The latest charges relate to allegations that the students tried to bribe Bulawayo Chiefs coach, Thulani Sibanda, and two of his players ahead of their showdown last year.
“The Premier Soccer League has completed its investigations and summoned Herentals FC to appear before the PSL disciplinary committee for allegedly attempting to bribe Bulawayo Chiefs head coach and their players before their Castle Lager PSL match that was played at Luveve Stadium on 14 December 2019,’’ a statement from the PSL read.
“The club is being charged for breaching the Premier Soccer League Rules and Regulations.’’
However, Herentals are questioning how the top-flight league now seemingly accord Sibanda of the status of head coach of Bulawayo Chiefs when they rejected to accredit him last year.
The PSL said Sibanda did not have the required CAF A licence, to coach a top-flight league side, and had not received a waiver from ZIFA and, therefore, they could not allow him to coach Chiefs. His name was removed from the PSL coaches, who were eligible to be considered for the Coach of the Year award, with the PSL saying they did not recognise him as the coach of the Ninjas.
Sibanda was also not allowed to cast a vote, as the other coaches of the league’s club, for the Soccer Stars of the Year.
PSL spokesperson, Kudzi Bare, yesterday said Bulawayo Chiefs were the complainants and the PSL just followed up on the complaint they received.
“Of course, Thulani Sibanda’s name was last year struck off the roll for the Coach of the Year voting as the PSL didn’t recognise him as the head coach for Bulawayo Chiefs,’’Bare said.
“He doesn’t have the requisite qualifications to be head coach.”
“However in this case, Bulawayo Chiefs are the complainant and we have to act accordingly.
“In any case, whether Sibanda is a head coach or not doesn’t matter, what matters is that they stated in their complaint that Herentals attempted to bribe him.”
The case will be head on February 20.