Sponsors Delta Beverages took the opportunity to voice their concern over the continued increase in violent incidences and crowd trouble in local football at a low-key Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) Silver Jubilee Celebrations dinner held in Harare on Friday night.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
There has been an increase in incidences of violence in local football this season, which has seen the abandonment of a number of matches.
A high-profile match pitting Dynamos and Highlanders ended prematurely earlier in the season after fans threw missiles and invaded the pitch, disputing a goal which they felt should not have stood.
Another match between Highlanders and FC Platinum was also abandoned while a Chibuku Cup quarterfinal match involving CAPS United and Shabanie had to be decided by the PSL disciplinary committee on Thursday.
While highlighting areas of concern during her speech at the celebrations, Delta Beverages marketing manager Patricia Murambinda spoke on violence in football.
“Sporadic violence at matches involving fans of big teams in the league matches and now even smaller teams are a concern for us as a sponsor,” she said, challenging the PSL to curb the violence.
Other concerns raised by Delta Beverages include poor performance of Zimbabwean teams on the continent, as well as few goals on the scoring charts.
“There are some areas that need to be worked on and these include the fact that our champions have not fared very well on the continental competitions and it’s something that worries us as the sponsors,” she said.
“There is also a low tally on the goal scorer charts compared to yesteryear. The goals scored by the top goal scorer are becoming less and less every year.”
It was announced at the banquet that Delta Beverages agreed to award the best 25 players who played in the PSL between 1993 and 2017.
The PSL Silver Jubilee Celebrations dinner, however, failed to live up to expectations.
Apart from starting almost two hours late, the local league’s Silver Jubilee festivities were a pale representation of the past 25 years given to Zimbabwe football.
Very few, if any, of the league’s former soccer stars and legends created in the past 25 years graced the occasion, let alone top administrators and owners of some the clubs that came and left.
What made a grim reading is the fact that more than two thirds of the 74 teams that have taken part since the PSL was founded are now defunct.
PSL chairman Keni Mubaiwa highlighted some of the association’s future plans.
“It is important that as we move forward, we pursue the establishment of a PSL Hall of Fame, establishment of a PSL under-19 reserve league, partnership with universities in the development of career football administrators and build a solid and documented history of the PSL,” he said.
The PSL was established in October 1992 by the then Super League clubs led by the late Morrison Sifelani, Chris Sibanda, Roger Muhlwa and Victor Zvobgo, among others.
A total of 74 football clubs have participated in the PSL, but sadly most of the teams have gone into oblivion.
Only three teams, namely Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders, have never been relegated and it was the Bulawayo giants, Bosso who won the inaugural season.
Dynamos have won the most titles, having won eight with Higlanders, coming second with six while CAPS United are third With four league championships
Chicken Inn is the other team in the league to have won the league title while other former champions such as Gunners, Motor Action, Monomotapa and Amazulu are now defunct.