ZIFA assembly rejects PSL relegation proposal

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MEMBERS of the ZIFA assembly have shot down suggestions to have only two teams relegated with two being promoted as advocated by the Premier Soccer League.
The ZIFA assembly met at the ZIFA Village in Mt Hampden on Friday where a resolution was passed one the relegation and promotion issue.
The ZIFA Assembly which comprises 58 members with all 16 Clubs of the PSL being part of the assembly shot down the suggestion of relegating two teams and promoting two saying it can only be down when there is the National Division League in place.
Four teams are demoted at the end of each year to accommodate the respective winners from the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Central regions.
PSL leaders have since last year been appealing to the soccer mother body, ZIFA to consider reducing the number of teams that would be relegated from the top-flight body. PSL leaders felt that the reduction of 25 % of the teams from the league was too high.
Peter Dube, PSL Vice Chairman and Highlanders Chairman set the ball rolling and told the Assembly that the relegation and promotion of four teams had created turmoil in the super league.
“We need to create a stronger league. The current relegation format is creating problems for the league. We need competitiveness, hence the need to promote and demote only two teams. It is high time we embrace worldwide trends,” Dube argued.
Dube was supported by How Mine Chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo who echoed the same sentiments.
“I totally concur with Mr Dube. All new teams being promoted into the league do not last more than three seasons. We need to solve this crisis. We as PSL can only afford to promote and relegate only two teams “.
However, Regional Chairmen led by Northern region front man Willard Manyengavana and his Southern region counterpart Musa Mandaza shot down the proposal.
Manyengavana argued that there was need to maintain the current set up.
“We as regional leaders want football to proliferate to all regions. We cannot afford play offs. We demand that PSL relegate four teams and promote four teams,” he said.
Musa Mandaza, the southern region chairman said PSL clubs were products of regions and hence they should stop politicising the issue of the relegation and promotion format.Advertisement

“All PSL Clubs except for Caps United, Highlanders and Dynamos came from the regions and I am surprised that the same beneficiaries from regions now want to look down upon the same regions that enabled them to rise into the Premier league. We want PSL to relegate four teams and promote four from the regions, period,” Mandaza said.
Gilbert Saika, the Mashonaland Central Province Chairman argued that it was late for the Assembly to introduce new policies.
“We are already mid-season. We cannot allow PSL to change the relegation system now. We have already made plans and it is mind boggling that PSL want to bring this issue now. As the Mashonaland province we are for the status quo,” argued Saika.
The debate on the PSL relegation format lasted for more than two hours with PSL Club Chairpersons on one side and Regional and Provincial representatives on the other. The ZIFA Extraordinary general meeting resembled the Zimbabwean Parliament as robust debate characterised the meeting.
PSL boss Twine Phiri told the house that he had secured a sponsor for the National First Division League beginning next year but his sentiments were rejected by vocal regional and provincial chairpersons.
“I can assure the House that I have just talked to a sponsor who has accepted to sponsor the league from next year. Please allow PSL to relegate only two teams and promote two”, Phiri said.
The provincial and regional representatives emerged triumphant after the Midlands provincial chairman Brian Austin Chishanga appealed to the Assembly to adhere to the ZIFA constitution.
“The constitution is very clear. It demands the creation of the National First Division League and that is when we will allow the promotion of two teams and demotion of two teams,” he said.
“Why does PSL want us to breach the constitution? We cannot allow ourselves to breach the same constitution we should safeguard,” argued Chishanga.
Members of the ZIFA assembly were left with no option but to adopt Chishanga’s proposals and maintain the status quo.