PSL head­ing for ugly split

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sports Re­porter

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.

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