Senior Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League has urged local football clubs to observe their contractual obligations and continue paying players their dues.
The 2020 season, which failed to get underway in March, has been thrown in doubt because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This has had some serious financial repercussions on both the clubs and players.
PSL chief executive, Kenny Ndebele, advised the 18 clubs to continue preparing as they wait for the Government’s response to the request for competitive football to be played this year.
The football authorities have set next month for a possible start of the season.
However, this looks highly unlikely because of the spike in the coronavirus cases countrywide.
“The PSL Sports Medicine Committee prepared football health protocols that will guide clubs on training, and match day procedures, upon the resumption of football and submitted the draft document to ZIFA,” said Ndebele.
“The said document will be shared with the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Government health experts before it is sent to the clubs.
“We are currently discussing with service providers, who have proposed to handle Covid-19 tests.
“The dates for the resumption of football training will be advised by the health authorities.
“We appeal to all clubs to continue paying the players’ monthly salaries as per their contracts.’’
CAF and FIFA have laid down strict health, and safety measures, to be followed by the national leagues before resuming football on the continent.
These include thorough testing, fumigation of training and playing venues and the appointment of coronavirus monitoring officers by each club to help implement the health protocol.
Some countries like Zambia and Tanzania have since resumed football to safeguard their sponsorship deals.
But, the cost-benefit analysis of the Zimbabwe’s league, could weigh in favour of scrapping off the whole season.
Ndebele said they were still trying to work a way out of the dilemma over the issue of contracts that expired mid-season.
They have engaged the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe and World League Forum after getting no joy from ZIFA on the way forward.
“We have received enquiries from some clubs on how the expired, or expiring player contracts, are to be handled.
“It was our hope that the national association would come up with a clear policy position.
“Since there have been no clear guidelines from the FA, we have engaged the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe to discuss a win-win situation.
“We have further engaged the World Leagues Forum to give us guidance.
“However, it is important to point out that, as things stand, the Player Transfer Window closed on 31 March 2020.
“New player movement is not permissible outside the transfer windows announced by the association.”
FIFA, however, have encouraged dialogue between the affected players and the clubs.
It is also still not clear if the PSL will be able to secure venues for the league games and how they were going to have the league played since travel across cities is still prohibited.
The PSL gave the clubs a deadline to submit documents, by next Tuesday, such as club constitution, management structure and lease agreements for use of stadia.