BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The announcement of Chibuku Super Cup fixtures to kick-start the much-awaited 2021 football season has been delayed by the ongoing disputes over player contracts, which has seen a number of clubs failing to meet the player registration deadline set by the Premier Soccer League (PSL), Standardsport can reveal.
The PSL has had to extend the registration deadline, initially scheduled for two weeks ago, to 1pm on Friday, but some clubs had not yet submitted their registration papers.
The US$375 000 Chibuku Super Cup is set to mark the return of domestic football after more than a year’s absence when it kicks-off on Saturday.
Delta Beverages provided the much-needed financial boost when it unveiled a sponsorship package worth over US$3 million for a period of three years on Thursday last week.
The Chibuku Super Cup will be sponsored to the tune of US$375 000 per competition while the league gets US$700 000 per term.
While the launch of the competition created a lot of excitement, fans have to wait a bit longer to know the fixtures of the opening round of the season-opening Cup competition due to disputes among clubs over player contracts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With regard to the Chibuku Super Cup fixtures, we are facing a delay because some clubs are yet to submit their registration papers. This is probably due to the unfortunate player disputes that have been going on in the past few days,” PSL CEO Kenny Ndebele explained.
“But I would like to clarify and say that matters to do with player registration, contracts and disputes are a preserve of the national association [Zifa].
“The PSL board cannot make resolutions on player disputes and contracts, but we have to be guided by the Fifa rules on those issues.”
PSL chairman Farai Jere recently stirred the hornet’s nest when he announced that clubs that signed contracts with players and never got the service ahead of the ill-fated 2020 season should be compensated, in line with guidelines provided by the local football mother body Zifa.
The clubs’ resolution to unliterary roll over player contracts that were set to expire at the end of last year to this year has since been dismissed by the international players’ union FIFPro, which demanded that local clubs should facilitate clearances of players whose contracts have expired.
While the wrangles over players’ contracts have been heating up as the kick-off date for the season-opening Chibuku Super Cup draws closer, Ndebele, however, revealed that the PSL had not received any formal complaints of such disputes
“We should start working on the Chibuku Cup fixtures on Monday (tomorrow) but we can only draw the clubs that had submitted their registration papers by 1pm on Friday. Clubs that failed to meet the deadline will not be fixtured,” he said.