Sports Editor —
THE television romance between Supersport and the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League is still on despite local topflight action’s conspicuous absence from the DSTV menu.
This season is the last of the five that the two parties agreed to be in bed for and broadcast of PSL matches could resume as soon as the Easter weekend, it has been established.
Although Multichoice Zimbabwe spokesperson Liz Dziva was not forthcoming with information, saying she was out of office, senior officials at the organisation disclosed the reasons why this season’s action hasn’t featured on the Supersport channels yet.
“Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches haven’t been on the Supersport channels this year because the OB vans are still in Zambia where the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations were held recently.
“The broadcast trucks are arriving on 13th of April in Zimbabwe so the earliest we can have the games is the Easter weekend,” said one of the officials.
Speculation has been rife that Supersport – who on Friday announced that they were terminating their deal with the Kenyan Premier League – would be pulling out of their agreement with the PSL following last season’s relegation/promotion fallout between Zifa and the PSL.
One of the reasons that Supersport cited in their decision to terminate their deal with the KPL was the enforced expansion of that league to 18 teams.
Kenya’s Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) ordered the KPL to have an 18-team top flight league starting this year as it moved in to end a feud between the Football Kenya Federation and the topflight league.
The FKF was pushing for the expansion of the league while the KPL insisted on a 16 team affair.
Fifa backed the move to increase the teams to 18 with secretary general Fatima Samoura saying FKF is responsible for organising top tier competitions in Kenya.
KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier revealed that Supersport had cited the expansion of the league to 18 teams as one of the reasons why the satellite television services provider terminated the contract.
“We have received the letter direct from the legal team in South Africa and the reason highlighted was the expansion of the league to 18 teams by the Sports Tribunal,” Rachier was quoted as saying by CapitalFM.
Interestingly what happened in Kenya mirrors the Zimbabwean situation with the PSL having also expanded to 18 teams as part of a compromise that brought to an end the ugly tiff between Zifa and the PSL.
However, sources say “Zimbabwe is a different kettle of fish.”
“Yes there could be similarities between the Kenyan situation and what has happened locally but the politics are different. Zimbabwe is a different kettle of fish with different interests.
“With the KPL out of the menu Supersport will have more appetite for content and I can tell you now that the PSL will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the decision to pull the plug on the Kenyan deal,” said another high ranking official last night.