ZIFA are set to reignite the push for the establishment of a nationwide second tier league which is expected to enhance the competitiveness of the Premier Soccer League.
The concept of the second-tier national league, which is provided for in the ZIFA constitution, has been talked about for a long time but successive administrations at the association have not been able to implement it.
The issue is set to be raised again when the ZIFA executive hold their next board meeting in the coming days. The proposed national league is intended to replace the four regional leagues that are currently being used for promotion into the topflight league.
However, there have been concerns in the domestic football circles about the quality of the football teams that have been coming to the topflight from the lower divisions, as most of the promoted teams usually get relegated quickly.
But by putting the best teams from across the country in one pool, with only two slots for direct qualification on stake, it is envisaged that competition will improve.
Currently the top team in the four regional leagues — Northern, Eastern, Southern and Central — get promotion.
And, also by demoting four teams at once in a single season, the PSL is relegating almost 25 percent of the total teams in their league, which is detrimental to the quality of competition.
This year alone, three teams that got promoted at the beginning of the season — Bulawayo City, Tenax and Whawha — have returned back to the lower divisions after failing to stand the heat in the Premier Soccer League.
The nationwide second tier league is provided for in the ZIFA statutes and has four delegates to the Congress. A ZIFA official yesterday told The Herald that the leadership was moving to establish the national league as provided for in the statutes.
“The establishment of the national league is something that is long overdue. The constitution says it should be put in place, obviously to enhance the quality of the game.
“Unfortunately, it has taken a long time before implementation. It is a fact that this league will help the quality of the game in the PSL.
“For many years we have seen teams getting promoted and the same teams getting relegated after one or two seasons. So the quality of the lower tier leagues is something that needs to be looked at and this national league will be strategic.”