The move comes at a time when The South African Football Association (Safa) has made it mandatory for its clubs in the second Division Vodacom League to have five players under the age of 23 in the field of play at all times for the next season.
Early this year the Zifa Northern Region Division One wanted the clubs to register only five players over the age of 25, with only two over aged players being used per game in a development which torched controversy.
Zifa instructed the league to stop implementing the plan after a number of clubs had complained.
The league’s secretary general Sweeney Mushonga said the league will not be registering any new players over the age of 25 for the 2012 season.
“We know the players’ contracts so we have allowed the clubs that have players over the age of 25 to continue using them. However, they will not be allowed to register new players over the age limit next year.
“If the contract of a player who is over the age of 25 expires, then he has to look for elsewhere to play as we will not register him in our league,” Mushonga said.
The idea has since been taken up by neighbours Safa who have gone further calling on their clubs in the Vodacom League to have at least five players below the age of 23 on the field of play in any match.
According to a letter signed by Safa chief executive officer dated August 30, the league resolved, among its rules for the 2011/12 season, that clubs can register any players provided that five players under the age of 23 are on the field of play.
“The league shall be open for all players provided that a minimum of five (5) players under the age of 23 shall at all times be on the field during matches (including national playoffs. Failure to comply with this provision shall constitute a breach of the regulation and if found guilty by a Disciplinary Committee, it shall result in a loss of points. This restriction will not be applicable during a match in any competition where SAB Regional Leagues, Vodacom League teams, National First Division teams and Premier Division teams participate in the same tournament.
“An Under-23 player shall be a player who will attain his 22 birthday on or after January 1 of the year during which the season commences. For the sake of clarity, for the 2011-2012 season, such a player must be 21 or younger on or after January 1 2011. He may turn 22 on or after January 2012,” read part of the rules and regulations signed by Safa’s acting chief executive officer Dennis Mumble.