Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE domestic Premiership lockdown has left the administrators with a lot of soul-searching to do.
Serious questions continue to be asked on the viability of having a top-flight league that demotes a quarter of its membership at the end of every year.
This also comes as the Premiership’s newboys struggled to meet the league’s affiliation fees.
Two of the promoted sides, Whawha and Tenax, had to beg for extensions to deadlines to pay their affiliation fees in order to be guaranteed a place in the league.
It has emerged that Tenax, who finally managed to pay their affiliation fees in full last week, are now struggling to raise the registration fees of $94 350 required to have their players on the PSL books and have their licences produced.
Just like Whawha and Tenax, another newly-promoted side Bulawayo City, also struggled with meeting the deadline to pay affiliation fees
This development has brought into the spotlight the case, which the PSL have been fighting for, which is the reduction of the number of teams promoted or demoted from the top-flight league.
Zimbabwe remain the only country which relegate the highest number of teams from the Premiership each year.
But the big question remains — should the league promote a quarter of its size yearly at the expense of fully developing football?
Yesterday, Tenax and Whawha were busy completing their registration process and they are still required to pay a registration fee of $94 350.
Their capacity to play the full top-flight league season is already being questioned.
A source close to Mutare side Tenax revealed the club, which is relying on well-wishers before the season has even started, might struggle when the campaign finally gets underway.
Whawha chairman, Watson Matara, said after managing to pay the affiliation fees, they will try to raise registration fees.
“We are confident that we will manage to pay the money. If we could afford affiliation then, surely, we can afford registration fees.
“Nothing will stop us from playing in the league,” he said.
Football experts from the ABSA Premiership in South Africa questioned the logic of investing so much in clubs, through workshops annually, only for a quarter of them to get relegated at the end of each season.
With the advent of club licensing around the continent, Zimbabwe is lagging behind in terms of implementing the system.
Four years ago, the top-flight clubs signed a Harare Declaration subscribing to the direction they wanted to take after a high-level workshop facilitated by CAF instructor Dennis Mumble.
The declaration was meant to commit ZIFA and PSL to ensure that the five criteria of licensing — sporting, administrative, personnel, infrastructure and financial — were then addressed and implemented to the letter.
But time-lines, which were promised to be observed and implemented so that the football standard was raised in the country, have been ignored.
Recently CAF banned Zimbabwe stadia from hosting international matches after the grounds failed to meet the required standards.