THERE is another new team in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League: Bantu Rovers.
On Wednesday, the Zifa Southern Region Division One team paid US$40,000 to acquire the Plumtree Chiefs franchise and make their return to the league they last played in four years ago.
Bantu are bankrolled by GrassrootSoccer International, who count Arsenal wing-back Bacary Sagna and former winger Robert Pires as some of their ambassadors in the global fight against HIV/AIDS and imparting of life skills to youths.
In Zimbabwe, the club is owned by Methembe Ndlovu, who has finished serving a two-year ban for his involvement in the Asiagate match fixing allegations and has been cleared by Zifa to return to mainstream football.
Ndlovu will be the coach of the team, assisted by former Chicken Inn gaffer Mandla Mpofu, who won the Net One Charity Shield last season.
Zifa legal advisor Ralph Maganga said the club had fulfilled all the requirements to acquire the franchise.
“I can safely say the deal has been concluded and we have written them a letter to confirm that which they have already collected from us and will forward to the PSL for registration, provided they meet the rest of the club licensing rules,” he said.
Bantu secretary Wilbert Sibanda confirmed the deal had been done, but could not release the details saying a press release will be issued.
Plumtree Chiefs, formerly known as Bulawayo Chiefs were promoted to the Premier Soccer League for the 2014 season having finished top of the Zifa Southern Region Division One League, but had made it clear they don’t have the financial muscle for the top flight.
Bantu join Chiredzi FC, formerly Hippo Valley, ZPC Kariba and Chapungu as the new teams promoted into the PSL for the 2014 season.Advertisement