©️ THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) are headed for a showdown over the teams to be promoted to replace Whawha and Tenax FC in the top flight.
The two teams owned by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) all failed to pay their affiliation fees to join the league which stands at $208 000.
Whawha had been promoted to the top flight after winning the 2019 Zifa Central Region League while Tenax had prevailed in the Zifa Eastern Region League. Tenax argue they were finally able to pay the affiliation fee but it was way past the deadline of March 13 set by the PSL.
Ordinarily, those teams which finished in second place in the respective second tier leagues should be promoted to take up the spots left vacant after Whawha and Tenax’s expulsion.
However, the PSL insist they agreed at their annual general meeting that in the event the two teams are expelled, they would be replaced by the teams which were relegated last year.
The four teams which were relegated from the top flight at the end of the 2019 season are TelOne FC, Hwange, Mushowani Stars and Chapungu.
“Suppose we have one club which has failed to make their payment then that club is not going to be a member and we will request a team which finished 15th from last season to be admitted back.
“If its two teams which have failed the matrix now says we will continue with the league because these are even numbers it can be a fixture,” PSL president Farai Jere said.
One of the PSL governors told the Daily News they will not be moving from this position after it was agreed at their AGM.
“As clubs, we agreed on what should happen because it was evidently clear Whawha and Tenax were not going to be able to meet the deadline.
“This was a resolution passed by all the teams in attendance and no other body can come and prescribe otherwise since our meeting was properly constituted,” the club boss told the Daily News.
What is clear though is that the PSL’s position is not in line with Zifa especially Central Region chairperson Stanly Chapeta, who insists Sheasham should replace Whawha, since they finished second last year.
“Under normal circumstances the PSL must get back to Zifa to say your team(s) have failed to pay affiliation fees.
“It will then be Zifa, who should second another team to the PSL and in this case it has to be the runners-up to replace the failed club,” Chapeta told the Daily News yesterday.
The Central Region boss said there are no provisions in the PSL rules and regulations which gives the league the right to bring back relegated teams.
“There is no rule that empowers the PSL to do what they are talking about. We agreed that teams from the four regions should participate in the PSL not relegated teams.
“By picking relegated teams, the PSL would have breached the Zifa constitution and the Zifa assembly.
“The four slots are for the regions unless they have other justification. It’s very simple when a team from the league fails to play in the African Champions League isn’t that the runners-up will take the slot?” Chapeta queried.
The 2020 Castle Lager Premiership season was initially scheduled to have commenced last weekend but has since been shelved due to the coronavirus outbreak.
All sporting events in Zimbabwe and the rest of the globe have been indefinitely suspended in order to curb the spread of the virus.
With the start of the 2020 season still not clear, this will give Zifa and the PSL enough time to settle this dispute.
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