PSL clubs lament high costs of football return Nhlanhla Dube

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
SOME of the Premiership clubs feel the preliminary costs associated with the possible return to football action are too high for them.

One of the key recommendations is that each club’s players and officials must be tested using the recommended PCR tests, which cost US$65 per test kit.

The South African clubs are paying for the testing of all their employees.

Highlanders’ chief executive, Nhlanhla Dube, said the time had come for a review of some of the costs which clubs pay.

“The medical team’s suggested protocol to the FA and PSL has not yet been communicated to us to allow our own medical staff to interpret and guide us,’’ he said.

“However, looking at what is done in the countries, where training and games have resumed, I can safely say that it will be a tall order for local football to satisfy the medical, preventive and protective protocols.

“Football in this country is already way under-financed and we lobby ZIFA and PSL to see how they can assist the clubs and even go further to lobby, as football, for levies paid to SRC, FA, councils for stadium hire and ZRP to be frozen for a certain period.

“The administration resources, allocated to ZIFA by FIFA, can be further channelled towards assisting referees’ transport and match handling fees.

“The reality is that even if football has to be played in closed stadiums, these costs remain.

“Imagine how a match can take place at Barbourfields or Rufaro with no police? How do you stop fans scaling the walls or breaking gates?”.

Dynamos spokesperson, Tinashe Farawo, said the cost of football to return is going to be expensive for most clubs.

“The most important thing is to make sure that players and officials are safe. We have to do everything possible to make sure everyone is safe,’’ he said.

“But clubs are already struggling with paying salaries and the testing costs are an arm and a leg.

“Most clubs, including us, won’t afford because the cost is too much. Maybe, we can do with assistance from ZIFA.’’

Chicken Inn secretary-general, Tawengwa Hara, said at the end of the day, football will have to be played.

“Some of us we depend on sponsors who in turn also want mileage. We also depend on player transfers, moving players outside the country, and we were affected by the lockdown,’’ he said.

“These costs are not affordable.

“I believe other service providers, such as owners of the stadium, will have to sort out their facilities so that we book them when they have already sanitised them, that way everyone will get to play a part.

“It is going to be a big problem if clubs must finance everything on their own. We urge ZIFA to assist.

“Football will have to be played because it is one of the biggest industries in the country which employs a lot of people.’’

Premiership newboys, Tenax, said without sponsors, the costs would be tough to meet.

“It is not going to be easy and, without sponsorship, it becomes very difficult,’’ said technical manager, Lloyd Chinawa.

“Many clubs are likely to feel the heat and we just hope that our football leaders will come with a rescue plan for the clubs so that we play football this season.’’

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