PSL heading for ugly split
THE divisions which could split the Premier Soccer League have become even more evident after lawyers representing the top-flight league yesterday dismissed a resolution made by the ZIFA Congress on the contentious issue of relegation and promotion.
Some hawks within the league, notably the Triangle and Chicken Inn chairmen Lovemore Matikinyidze and Lifa Ncube, have been pushing for the league to keep their battle with the association alive by arguing that their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport will not be withdrawn.
Matikinyidze and Ncube are part of the three-man PSL emergency committee and signed a commitment to pay $17 000 to the Swiss court even though the other member of the committee, Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa, refused to endorse that move.
Ncube has been out of the country for some time now, in Mauritius, and questions have emerged as to how he ended up signing that document authorising the payment of the $17 000.
The court, based in Switzerland, set a deadline of yesterday for the payment of the 17 000 Swiss francs needed from the PSL for them to hear the dispute.
ZIFA have said they will not pay the 17 000 Swiss francs needed by the same court, arguing it is a waste of financial resources given the dispute could be resolved internally.
CAPS United, Highlanders and FC Platinum are also believed to be against the resolution to keep the issue at CAS.
But the PSL’s legal representative Wellington Magaya of Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, this week wrote to ZIFA rubbishing the resolution made by the association’s congress last weekend.
In a letter addressed to ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa, Magaya said the decision by the PSL to take the matter to CAS was reached by the league’s congress and reasoned that only the PSL congress could revoke it.
“We refer to the ZIFA Congress held on Saturday, the 7th of January 2017,” wrote Magaya.
“Our client’s position on this matter is that the dispute is still pending before CAS and any purported resolution on the matter is null and void.
“Our clients have no intention of withdrawing the matter. As you are aware, the resolution to refer this dispute to CAS was made by a special congress of the Premier Soccer League held on the 19th of November 2016 and that resolution remains extant.
“The resolution still stands because it was made by a PSL Congress. If there are individuals who are not happy or who want to change their position, it’s up to them to convince the other members.”
Magaya said the league had asked for time to pay the $17 000 requested by CAS after encountering challenges with resource mobilisation and the foreign currency exchange controls.
Yesterday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, which has been warning against wasteful expenditure of scarce foreign currency, said they would not be involved in the authorisation of the payment to the Swiss court.
“The Reserve Bank will not be involved in authorising the payment because PSL has to approach their bankers like anyone else,” Morris Mpofu, director of exchange control at the RBZ, told The Herald.
“Their bank will decide on the priority list they were given by the Reserve Bank.
“If the payment does not fall within the priority list it will be tricky. The priority list for the Reserve Bank has manufacturing, bank borrowing which includes imports with education on number three.”
A dispute which could be settled by local legal channels doesn’t appear to fit that priority list.