By Petros Kausiyo
After successfully staging their annual meeting and becoming the latest ZIFA affiliate to shun the association’s detractors and hold such an indaba, the Premier Soccer League will now have a workshop next week at which the top-flight’s newboys will have their proper induction.
The workshop, at which club presidents and chief executives, are expected to attend, is scheduled for March 14.
In yet another massive blow to ZIFA’s detractors, who have been questioning the legitimacy of the Congress and had even written to FIFA and the Sport and Recreation Commission claiming that the lifespan of the leadership expires on March 29, the PSL annual meeting passed in Harare without any drama.
Instead the board of governors of the elite clubs, who contribute 18 of the 58-member ZIFA Congress, did not even discuss the elections as they, just like all the other affiliates, resolved to wait to be guided by the ZIFA Electoral Committee.
The ZIFA Congress at their February 17 indaba in Harare ratified a decision by Philip Chiyangwa’s leadership to appoint an Electoral committee which will be mandated to run elections for all affiliates.
At the same annual meeting the councillors also resolved to wait for further guidance from FIFA on a proposal to amend their constitution and have the timeframe within which an electoral committee should commence work from six months to a fortnight.
But it is the fact that ZIFA’s major affiliates including the regional bodies – the Southern and Northern – have held annual meetings that have stuck with the congress resolutions, which underlines the unity of purpose prevailing in domestic football’s top policy making body.
After such influential bodies like Musa Mandaza’s Southern region and the Northern Region headed by Willard Manyengavana, all eyes had been on the PSL with the detractors hoping that they would rebel against the February 17 resolutions.
But the top-flight league spent the bulk of their discussions on such matters like the start of the 2018 season which was deferred by a week and confirmation of the teams that will battle for the championship crown.
PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele confirmed that elections had never been a matter for discussion at their indaba “because that is the baby of the ZIFA Electoral Committee to deal with.
“We are now going to have a workshop on 14 March on club licensing and preparations for the season and tis will be done with the board of governors and CEOs and it will also cover the laws of the game.
“Elections are done by ZIFA through the Electoral committee and they are not for any affiliate to handle,” Ndebele said.
Should there be elections for the PSL, they would only be for a chairman and his deputy, as the rest of the club leadership now make up the board of governors in line with the Harare Declaration of 2009 that has subsequently been refined trough some regular strategic meetings.
Newboys – Nichrut, Herentals, Bulawayo Chiefs and Mutare City will get the real opportunity, at the workshop, to warm to what goes on in the elite league.
The club chiefs will no doubt also discuss, albeit with concern, the amount of stadiums of that have failed to meet the Club Licensing requirements and now look set to miss the start of the season.
ZIFA competitions and communications manager Xolisani Gwesela, who is also the spokesperson of the association’s First Instance Body yesterday, released the names of the stadiums that have so far been certified fit to stage Premiership games.
“Following an appraisal of match venues across the country, the First Instance Body met in Harare on Monday 5 March 2018 and homologated the following stadiums to host Premier Soccer League matches during the 2018 season – National Sports Stadium, Rufaro Stadium, Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve Stadium, Gibbo Stadium, Baobab Stadium, Mandava Stadium.
“For Maglas, Sakubva, Ascot and Nyamhunga FIB recommended extensive refurbishments to satisfy minimum standards on the club licensing check-list if they are to be certified to host top-flight league matches.
“The FIB also evaluated Club Licensing documents in line with the infrastructure, sporting, administration, financial and legal criteria for those clubs that applied for licenses and we are optimistic that we will conclude this exercise by end of this week.
“FIB reiterates that enforcement of club licensing regulations is not meant to persecute clubs; instead, it is a professional development tool meant to benefit clubs in the long-term,” Gwesela said.