Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
EXACTLY a month after he was nominated to lead the Premier Soccer League, CAPS United president Farai Jere is set to break new ground today when he is officially unveiled as the topflight league’s new boss on a four-year mandate.
The PSL will, in line with the 2018 ZIFA elections roadmap, hold their elective assembly in Harare today, and in the process, end nearly two years of waiting to have a substantive captain of their board of governors’ ship.
Jere will also become the second CAPS United president to lead the PSL after Twine Phiri.
The PSL are one of four of ZIFA affiliates who will be conducting their elections in line with that roadmap set out by the domestic football mother body through their Electoral Committee in fulfilment of constitutional requirements.
FIFA have backed the ZIFA election roadmap.
Five-A-side football, better known as Futsal, Beach Soccer and the Women’s League, will also be converging at various venues today to elect their new leaders.
But for the PSL and Futsal, it will be mere formalities as both the chairman of Five-A-Side Lovemore Chidhakwa and Jere were nominated unopposed by the time the ZIFA Electoral Committee, chaired by Vusilizwe Vuma, announced the closure of the nomination process.
This means that actual polls will take place in the Women’s League where incumbent Rosemary Kanonge must shake off a strong challenge from Barbra Chikosi, while in Beach soccer it is a tussle between business executive Marshall Jonga and the affiliate’s current leader Joseph Musariri.
Despite being nominated unopposed; the spotlight will naturally fall on the goings on at the PSL indaba where Jere will, from today, start a journey that is expected to steer the top-flight into a new era.
Jere declined to discuss today’s indaba preferring instead to “talk about it all after the meeting’’.
His maiden speech will no doubt be crucial when all has been done and dusted and the congratulatory messages have poured in.
ZIFA chief executive Joseph Mamutse said the PSL clubs, just like the other affiliates, would first discuss their activity report and confirm the candidates and other internal business before tabling the elections issue among the items on their agenda.
“It’s normal that when such elective meetings are held the constituency first discusses the activity report and confirm the candidates and the electoral committee will then take over proceedings and conduct the business of elections,’’ Mamutse said.
With years of experience gained from managing CAPS United, Jere should now know better how he can lead the clubs in navigating the tough operating environment which has affected the majority of the PSL teams in recent years.
Dwindling crowd attendance figures at domestic games also appears to be one of the major challenges that the PSL would have to confront head on during Jere’s tenure.
The Harare businessman is also expected to provide leadership on how the country’s biggest sport can match its power with luring more sponsors to a league that only has one knock-out tournament — the Chibuku Super Cup on their books.
Yet Jere initially had ambitions to lead ZIFA before changing his mind in 2015 and throwing his weight behind Philip Chiyangwa.
And, when nominations closed on June 15, Jere’s moment to take his administrative acumen beyond CAPS United had arrived.
Today, the affable Green Machine boss will venture into new challenges although the brief stint he had as deputy to Kenny Mubaiwa on the PSL’s Emergency committee must have given him more insight into the task that awaits him.
The PSL have been without a substantive leader since the suspension of Peter Dube in November 2016.
Dube had earlier succeeded Twine Phiri at the helm of the elite league.
But when the former Highlanders chairman fell out with ZIFA, and was subsequently suspended, the PSL then set up a four-man Emergency Committee which was headed by former Dynamos president Mubaiwa.
That Emergency Committee also included Lifa Ncube of Chicken Inn, Triangle United boss Lovemore Matsikinyidze and Jere and, for the last two years, they led the league which is administered by chief executive Kenny Ndebele.
In terms of the roadmap outlined by the ZIFA electoral committee, the Area Zones will be next in line with their elections pencilled in for July 21-22 and the nomination and verification of candidates having already been completed.
The ZIFA Electoral Committee
PSL Chairperson: Farai Jere
ZWSL Chairperson: Rosemary Kanonge and Barbra Chikosi
ZWSL Vice Chairperson: Wilbert Rambanepasi
ZWSL Board Members: Beaullar Msarah, Tafadzwa Mujuru, Panganai Mahachi, Brendah Gorejena
Beach Soccer Chairperson: Joseph Musariri and Marshall Jonga
Futsal Chairperson: Lovemore Chidhakwa
Futsal Vice-Chairperson: Victor Muzadzi