NETONE have stuck to their guns insisting they will pay Dynamos players “something” for their participation in last year’s NetOne Charity Shield opener as voting for this year’s edition opened yesterday.
Speaking at the unveiling of the sms voting platform for the NetOne Charity shield, the company’s managing director Reward Kangai maintained their earlier position that they would pay Dynamos players only.
Dynamos are demanding
$50 000 prize money for winning last year’s tournament.
“We will give the players something. They agreed to play despite the problems we experienced last year,” said Kangai without elaborating.
PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele said they would find a solution to the problem. “We will find a way to resolve the issue. It’s not just the Dynamos issue. We also have other newly promoted teams which will be voted to participate in this tournament. There has been an outcry that all these teams were not being considered in the past editions,” said Ndebele.
The PSL seems to have more on its plate — Mbada Diamonds are yet to be informed on how Dynamos’ jerseys for the Caf Champions League would be branded if they take up the $150 000 subsidy.
The league champions play Lesotho Correctional Services next Sunday in the first leg of the competition.
The defending champions have threatened to boycott this year’s edition of the Charity shield — even if they are voted in — if they don’t get the full amount of $50 000 which had been earmarked for the winners.
DeMbare had last year threatened to withdraw from the competition after their principal sponsor, BancABC, demanded that they be given the front space on the club’s jerseys to display their logo.
They, however, agreed to play, but were not given their prize money for refusing to wear jerseys with the NetOne logo despite the two companies not being competitors.
But a solution seems to be closer after BancABC said they welcomed multiple sponsors into the game. The traditional season opener has previously been contested by the top two teams — winners of the league title and the premier knockout cup.
However, this year the organisers of the competition have changed the rules of the tournament with fans now choosing the four teams through a voting system.
Kangai said their decision to include the fans was prompted by the fact that in the past two seasons the NetOne Charity Shield had been staged in Harare and there was an outcry from the soccer fraternity throughout the country that they are not being exposed to the season’s opening tournament.
“NetOne and PSL sat down and crafted means of ensuring that the whole nation gets to join in the excitement by allowing them to select teams of their choices and have done that via sms. As part of the NetOne in the community initiative, we felt we should give an opportunity to the people outside the major cities a chance to enjoy football as the season begins. The sms voting is a tripartite agreement comprising NetOne, PSL and E-TOP UP who facilitated short code 38080 to enable subscribers to select their teams. There are rules and regulations on how you cast your vote. A full list of the teams in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League will be published to allow voting. Select the team of your choice and sms that to the short code,” said Kangai.
He added that there are no limits in the voting as one can vote for his or her favourite team as many times as possible to increase its chances of being selected.