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League reboot in false start

BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) has decided to push back the resumption of local topflight football competition by one more week after failing to put their house in order in time for the restart, which was initially scheduled for this weekend.

PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele hinted at the weekend that the local football body was not yet ready for the restart on May 15.

In a Press statement released yesterday, the PSL revealed that the postponement was due to incomplete negotiations with commercial partners and other stakeholders.

“The Premier Soccer League would like to advise all stakeholders that the start of the PSL competitions has been moved to May 22, 2021. This has been necessitated by the need to conclude negotiations with our commercial partners and other stakeholders,” read the statement signed by PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare.

“The PSL is pleased with the interest and positive responses we are receiving from stakeholders and as such we are working to bring the best football experience for the 2021 season.

“We endeavour to conclude broadcasting agreements (both radio and television) as soon as possible to ensure that our matches reach all football fans across the country. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at
home.”

It is understood that PSL is in discussion with Delta Beverages, who are looking to continue their flirtation with local football sponsorship.

The postponement would come as good news for most of the clubs which have been complaining about inadequate time to prepare for the resumption of competitions.

Clubs only started training around the second week of April after 18 months of inactivity and needed at least six weeks to get their players in good fitness condition.

The PSL also confirmed the stadia that will be used in the cup competition.

“Further, we are in talks with stadium owners so that the stadia are ready and meet the minimum requirements before the start of the competitions. Our cup tournament will be played at Mandava, Barbourfields, Sakubva and National Sports Stadium,” PSL said.

The National Sports Stadium will host six teams, Dynamos, CAPS United, Harare City, Yadah FC, Herentals and ZPC Kariba, which will form one group.

Another group will see four Bulawayo sides — Bulawayo Chiefs, Bulawayo City, Chicken Inn and Highlanders — compete against each other at Barbourfields.

In Zvishavane, league champions FC Platinum will enjoy home comforts against Ngezi Platinum Stars, Triangle, and Whawha, while Manica Diamonds, Tenax, Black Rhinos, and Cranborne Bullets will battle it out at Sakubva.

The top two teams from the preliminary group clashes will progress to the quarter-finals.

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