Zifa, PSL in crunch indaba Kudzai Bare

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
FOR the first time, outside Congress, the Premier Soccer League governors and the ZIFA executive will meet on Saturday to discuss the state of football in the country in the wake of the paralysis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

All the 18 clubs chairpersons have been invited to an indaba which will touch on a number of football issues, including the plight of top-flight clubs, during the lockdown period.

Yesterday, PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare, confirmed they have been invited to a meeting by the local governing body.

“We got a letter of invitation from ZIFA inviting PSL governors to the consultative meeting on Saturday at 10 am,’’ she said.

“The venue will be advised and the agenda is the ZIFA president’s address.”

The Premier Soccer League has been in limbo since the lockdown measures were instituted by Government in March this year, to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

The clubs last week got a bailout from the national association, after an intervention by FIFA and CAF, who availed US$1.8 million to assist their member associations to get the game running again.

ZIFA have assumed responsibility of the baseline Covid-19 testing costs, as recommended by FIFA and CAF, as part of the road map towards a safe return to football.

They will also provide medical equipment, and pay the referees, as a means of taking off the heavy financial load on the clubs.

The PSL clubs were allocated approximately US$5 500 each, towards their operational costs.

Stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings over the allocations, which appear to fall far too short of what the clubs had requested, when they were approached by the association.

The CAF and FIFA money was spread across all the association’s affiliates.

The clubs are likely to reveal their challenges and state their position towards a safe start to the 2020 season, which has been pushed to September.

In the past, the relationship between the PSL and ZIFA has been stormy but the top-flight leader, Farai Jere, and his colleagues, have been battling for a better working alliance.

ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said it was a rare meeting which will touch on all issues related to football in the country.

“We want to discuss the status of football in the country. We will discuss a lot of football issues,’’ said Gwesela.

“It is the first time they are meeting the ZIFA executive outside Congress.’’

The governors are expected to give ZIFA a true picture of their financial challenges.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe international striker, Gabriel Nyoni, has described Jere, who is the PSL and CAPS United leader, as a passionate and great football administrator who was doing well under difficult circumstances.

He has also praised Highlanders chief executive, Nhlanhla Dube.

Nyoni, who now plays for South African side Maritzburg United, featured for Bosso and Makepekepe during his time in the domestic Premiership.

“Today, I take time to appreciate these two great soccer administrators I have worked under,’’ the speedy striker tweeted.

“They lead football with passion. Mr Farai Jere & @nhlanhladube2 (Nhlahla Dube).’’

Jere has been leading both the top-flight league, and the Green Machine, during a difficult period.

A few months ago, both Makepekepe and Bosso lost their principal sponsor, NetOne, after the company decided to channel the resources they were pumping into football, to fight the Covid-19 outbreak.

This has left the leadership of the two giants needing to find alternative ways to keep their clubs going at a very difficult time.

Bosso lost their British coach, Mark Harrison, before a competitive game could be played this year after those who had committed to sponsoring his stay, were also affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Dube also took to Twitter to advise Nyoni that he had been humbled by the praise from the striker.

You Might Also Like