Sha­banie win Cen­tral Soc­cer League ti­tle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Love­more Zi­gara in Gweru

MAGLAS Sta­dium in Zvisha­vane was a theatre of wild cel­e­bra­tions on Satur­day after Sha­banie Mine clinched the Zifa Cen­tral Soc­cer League ti­tle by beat­ing FC Plat­inum Un­der-19 1–0.

Lloyd Gw­eringa se­cured vic­tory for the asbestos min­ers in the 83rd minute, tak­ing their points tally to 66 with one round of matches to go.

Sec­ond-placed Ivan Hoe, who dis­missed Kwekwe Sables 2–1 can only fin­ish on 64 points if they win their last game of the sea­son. Blan­ket Mine, who are in third place, will end the sea­son on 65 points should they win their re­main­ing game and are also awarded their aban­doned game against Blan­ket Mine.

Sha­banie Mine now wait to hear whether they will be in­volved in pro­mo­tional play-offs for the Premier­ship or they will go straight into the elite league.

Lo­cal foot­ball was plunged into con­fu­sion last week when Zifa coun­cil­lors voted to rel­e­gate four teams from the Premier­ship and re­place them with win­ners of its four re­gional leagues.

How­ever, this is in breach of a 2015 res­o­lu­tion that only two teams would be chopped from the PSL, with win­ners of the four re­gional Zifa leagues bat­tling it out in pro­mo­tional play-offs for two PSL slots.

Talks are re­port­edly on-go­ing and Sha­banie Mine would be ad­vised to cel­e­brate win­ning the CSL, but put their cham­pagne on ice re­gard­ing re­turn­ing to the topflight after two sea­sons in the sec­ond tier league.

Tendai Chikuni, the Sha­banie Mine coach, was over the moon after win­ning the ti­tle, which he said was achieved un­der dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

“It is good that we have man­aged to win de­spite the tough con­di­tions that we were in. You had a sit­u­a­tion whereby the boys were not be­ing paid at times, but you had to mo­ti­vate them to keep go­ing, which goes to show that money alone can­not se­cure suc­cess,” said Chikuni.

Sha­banie Mine chair­man Al­bert Marufu said the club is go­ing to em­bark on var­i­ous ini­tia­tives to en­sure that it is well re­sourced for its pos­si­ble Premier­ship so­journ.

Marufu ded­i­cated the ti­tle to the late club chair­man Nephel Ru­gara, who passed away ear­lier in the sea­son after col­laps­ing at Man­dava Sta­dium dur­ing the re­verse fix­ture against FC Plat­inum Un­der-19.

Be­fore the match, Sha­banie Mine sup­port­ers marched from Man­dava Sta­dium to Maglas Sta­dium in mem­ory of Ru­gara.

Sha­banie Mine join Zifa North­ern Re­gion win­ners Black Rhi­nos in await­ing their fate. - @lavuzi­gara1

Tendai Chikuni

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