The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) has been suspended for two weeks to pave way for the Cosafa Women Championships which begin this weekend.
PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele confirmed the developments yesterday as Zifa re-affirmed the tournament will go ahead with or without the blessings of the Sports and Recreational Commission (SRC).
Indian Ocean Islanders Reunion were supposed to host this year’s edition but pulled out last week due to financial pressures, forcing the organisers to move the tourney to Zimbabwe.
However, there have been serious doubts on whether the country would be able to stage the tournament in such a short notice, with the SRC having already indicated they had no financial capacity.
Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa), with the backing from the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) who have pledged to cater for accommodation for all the eight participating teams, yesterday said the tournament was on.
Speaking at a press conference at ZTA offices, Zifa board member of finance Elliot Kasu said his association has already accepted the offer from Cosafa and all seven visiting teams will be in the country by Friday.
“As you may all be aware the tournament was supposed to be hosted by Reunion but due to reasons beyond their control they had to withdraw at the last minute and because of that Cosafa had to look among its membership to rescue the situation.
“Fortunately Zimbabwe was picked to host it, and this was based on the good way we hosted the men’s senior tournament, so Cosafa had no hesitation in giving us the tournament. So after that we sat down as the board and the president (Cuthbert Dube) had to accept it on behalf of the nation, which I think we are mandated to do. I can announce that the tournament will be hosted in Zimbabwe and will run from the 2nd of July and the final will be played on July 9,” confirmed Kasu.
On SRC, Kasu said: “Zifa has already taken a position as the country’s football mother body. It’s not that there is friction, there is no friction.
It was a matter of them (SRC) raising the issue because they felt there is not enough time for them to go to the government and ask for money — we are going to appraise them.”
Monday Zifa unveiled the local organising committee that will run the tournament.
Hwange Colliery Company managing director Fred Moyo and Harare businesswomen Marah Hativagone are the co-chairpersons.
Kasu and Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede were appointed as vice-chairpersons who will deal with administration and technical issues respectively.