THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) 2014 soccer season action bursts into life on April 5 and 6 with the season opener penciled for March 30.
BY Brian Nkiwane
PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele confirmed the dates before adding that they were still working at luring sponsors to bankroll the league’s season opener tournament, the Charity Shield trophy.
For the past three years, mobile network service providers NetOne have been sponsoring the season opener but with the pulling out of Sup8r Cup sponsors, BancABC, Net-One is eyeing to take over.
“We have set the weekend of April 5 and 6 as the dates that our season will start. We have been running around to get sponsors for the season opener which has been hard to get. But we will always come up with a plan,” Ndebele said.
Ndebele added that in the event that they failed to lure sponsors for the season opener, they had already put in place a programme in conjunction with Zifa that will see the top four clubs from last year clashing in the semifinals of the Independence Trophy which would be used as the season opener.
“We have an alternative programme in place in the event that we do not get sponsors for the season opener. We will use the weekend of March 30 for the semifinals of the Independence Cup. A draw will be done between the top four finishers from last year and they will play in the semifinals to mark the opening of the league.”
He added, “We still have to meet Zifa, the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture and the Sports and Recreation Commission on this,” he said.
Ndebele said it was going to be a congested season once again as the last match of the season, the Mbada Diamonds Cup final would be played on December 20.
“This year we are going to have the Independence Cup, the Sup8r Cup, a 16-team knockout tournament which the sponsors are yet to announce, as well as the Mbada Diamonds Cup. This means that we are going to have a congested season especially in September, October and November where we are going to have African qualifier matches, two in each month making our life very difficult.”
Coaxed to reveal how they are going to deal with CAF registrations for the team that will participate in the Confederation Cup competitions, Ndebele said; “We will cross the bridge when we get there. We have been trying hard to squeeze the programme and this is the best that we could come up with. Like I said before, we still need to engage Zifa over the CAF calendar that we got and see if we can come up with an improved programme.”