NO end is in sight in the ongoing relegation and promotion impasse between the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the local football governing body, Zifa, after the two parties failed to reach common ground on the number of teams which will be promoted into the top-flight league next season.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
An ad hoc committee chaired by Zifa competitions board member Piraishe Mabhena, the four regional chairpersons and the PSL’s emergency committee met in the capital yesterday in an effort to finally put an end to the current relegation debacle.
Mabhena told Standardsport after the meeting that while the two parties proposed that two teams would be relegated, they were yet to reach an agreement on the number of teams that will be promoted into the PSL.
“The first thing that we reached an agreement on was to do with demotion. We agreed that it is the fairest thing to demote two teams considering that teams started the league with the legitimate expectation that two teams would be demoted. So that’s the proposal we will be carrying forward to congress,” Mabhena said.
“However, we still have to finalise the issue of promotion. We ended up with two positions where we have an option of promoting two teams which will culminate in playoffs or promoting four, which would mean we will then need to make amendments to the constitution. We will reconvene and finalise the issue of promotion with all the facts on the ground,” he said.
Mabhena was, however, quick to clarify that the proposal reached yesterday would still need ratification by the Zifa congress.
“What we agreed is just a proposal which will need further ratification by congress. The congress decision that was passed on October 29 meant four teams would be relegated with four being promoted, but as a committee, we’ve got no right to reverse any decision passed by congress,” he said.
Yesterday’s meeting came at a time when relations between Zifa and the PSL had been strained after the former suspended PSL chairperson Peter Dube at the start of the month for “inappropriate conduct” during the association’s congress.
This was after the Zifa councillors’ controversial resolution to demote four teams instead of two, a position they had agreed to at the start of the year, leaving the PSL with no choice but to approach the Court of Arbitration for Sport to intervene and help resolve its dispute with Zifa.
Shabanie Mine, Bantu Rovers, Black Rhinos and Yadah Stars were crowned champions in their respective leagues, but are yet to learn what the future holds for them as there is no solution yet.
However, yesterday’s developments will come as a relief to Chapungu and Tsholotsho, whose future in the top-flight league was still uncertain due to the ongoing impasse after they finished 13th and 14th respectively on the PSL log standings.