Zifa, PSL im­passe on rel­e­ga­tion, pro­mo­tion rages on

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo in Harare

THE rel­e­ga­tion and pro­mo­tion im­passe be­tween Zifa and the PSL could be far from being re­solved, with the for­mer de­mand­ing the lift­ing of the sus­pen­sion of its chair­man Peter Dube among other con­di­tions ahead of a meet­ing on the con­tentious is­sue.

Win­ners of the four re­gional First Di­vi­sion clubs, Bantu Rovers of South­ern Re­gion, Cen­tral Re­gion cham­pi­ons Sha­banie Mine, Black Rhi­nos from North­ern Re­gion and Yadah from the East­ern Re­gion could wait longer be­fore they know which league they will play in.

The PSL’s emer­gency com­mit­tee spokesman Ad­vo­cate Lewis Uriri said they want ne­go­ti­a­tions to be done on a level ground and ques­tioned why Zifa hand­picked the league’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives for the meet­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to a Zifa com­mu­niqué re­leased on Satur­day night, the league’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives will meet a com­mit­tee ap­pointed by Zifa’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

“The Zim­babwe Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Zifa) Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mi­tee met on Satur­day (26 November 2016) and re­solved the play offs is­sue with a com­mit­tee headed by Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee Mem­ber re­spon­si­ble for com­pe­ti­tions, Pi­raishe Mab­hena tasked to han­dle the con­tested mat­ter. The Com­mit­tee is com­prised of Zifa re­gional pres­i­dents and PSL Emer­gency Com­mit­tee mem­bers Messrs Kenny Mubaiwa, Ad­vo­cate Lewis Uriri (whose sus­pen­sion has been lifted) , Lifa Ncube and Love­more Matikinyidze,” read the state­ment signed by Chiyangwa.

Speak­ing at a press con­fer­ence in Harare yes­ter­day, Adv Uriri said the PSL is pre­pared to have the rel­e­ga­tion and pro­mo­tion im­passe re­solved, but Zifa has to meet their con­di­tions.

““We’ve asked for un­con­di­tional lift­ing of the sus­pen­sion of Peter Dube who was sus­pended for car­ry­ing out PSL’s duty. The emer­gency com­mit­tee deals with ur­gent mat­ters not congress is­sues. The PSL can’t ne­go­ti­ate with­out its chair­man and what the emer­gency com­mit­tee will sim­ply do is lis­ten to what they say at the meet­ing and each party will then go and brief its congress.

“The PSL can’t have Zifa ap­point­ing peo­ple on their be­half to ne­go­ti­ate. It is the PSL who should send their own rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Also, we can’t ne­go­ti­ate from a hand­i­capped po­si­tion. We’ve taken a po­si­tion that the com­mit­tee has to re­flect bar­gain­ing of power, if mat­ters go to votes we will lose. We can’t go into a skewed process. We want five peo­ple from out­side and a chair­man with­out a cast­ing vote,” said Adv Uriri.

Re­la­tions be­tween Zifa and their flag­ship af­fil­i­ate broke down on Oc­to­ber 29 fol­low­ing the move by the as­so­ci­a­tion’s congress to re­verse a de­ci­sion to de­mote two teams from the Pre­mier­ship and pro­mote as many sides from the re­gional Di­vi­sion One Leagues via the pro­mo­tional play-offs.

Zifa have been adamant that four teams must be de­moted at the end of the PSL sea­son and want the re­gional Di­vi­sion One cham­pi­ons to gain au­to­matic pro­mo­tion while the top-flight have re­sisted the stance, in­sist­ing that the Oc­to­ber 29 Zifa as­sem­bly res­o­lu­tion was con­sti­tu­tion­ally flawed.

Adv Uriri said in­creas­ing the num­ber of teams to 18 has se­ri­ous ram­i­fi­ca­tions on the league, in­clud­ing the late wrap up of the com­pe­ti­tion.

He said the league was al­ready ne­go­ti­at­ing for knock­out tour­na­ments with 16 teams in mind.

“The PSL’s po­si­tion is clear, we un­der­stand there is a move to­wards com­pro­mise that two teams will go down with four com­ing in. The po­si­tion of the league is that two teams come up and two teams go down and if that’s not the case we don’t play.

“Please note that the PSL is com­mit­ted to hav­ing the mat­ter re­solved and have pre­sented six points which have to be ad­dressed to have this is­sue re­solved. How do you deal with tour­na­ments like the Chibuku Su­per Cup?

“How do you decide which 16 teams to par­tic­i­pate? Should we agree that teams that are being pro­moted in the event that’s the case play their own play-off to de­ter­mine who com­petes in the 16-team tour­na­ment? Ob­vi­ously ne­go­ti­a­tions are premised on a 16-team league and how do you share the cake?” said Adv Uriri. — @ZililoR.

Peter Muduhwa Lib­erty Chako­roma Hardlife Zvirekwi God­knows Mur­wira

Ron­ald Pfumbidzayi

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