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Hippo Valley out

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  • Newly-promoted PSL team disbanded

HIPPO VALLEY Football Club will not play in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in 2014, NewsDay Sport can reveal.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI

The decision was reached at a meeting yesterday and officially communicated to the PSL and Zifa, who will now handle the issue.

Hippo Valley will now merge with Triangle, who are already in the PSL, but the positions of technical director Moses Chunga, his head coach Taku Shariwa and players, will also now come under serious consideration for inclusion.

Hippo Valley have been totally disbanded such that they will not even play Division One football next season while another Tongaat Hulett-owned side Mwenezana has been given the green light to play in the second-tier league as a feeder club to Triangle.

According to a source who attended yesterday’s meeting in the Lowveld, the sponsors said they could afford two teams to play in the PSL, which in itself contravenes Fifa laws. Tongaat Hulett human resources director Freddy Nyangwe was the first one to pass the message in a meeting that was also attended by one of the sugarcane-producing company bosses Thomas Dheka.

Hippo Valley chairman Tarisai Mudambanuki could not divulge more over the development, but he confirmed the development to NewsDay Sport yesterday.

“l was briefed over the phone about the development, I am driving, and l was in Harare, but I will give the story tomorrow (today),” he said. However, a letter written to the Eastern Region Division One League reads: “For the record, we would like to note that during the 2013 soccer season, Hippo Valley FC was wholly sponsored by Tongaat Hullet Hippo Valley Estate Operations. As you may be aware, Tongaat Hullet also sponsors Triangle Football Club which is part of the PSL.

“This means with the promotion of Hippo Valley FC into the PSL, Tongaat Hullet Operations would have to sponsor two teams in the PSL.

“Given the above, Hippo Valley have given careful consideration to pertinent issues that Triangle United and Hippo Valley draw their sponsorship from the same source and are based in the same locality.

“Following extensive consultations with key stakeholders, we wish to advise that Hippo Valley FC will not be able to participate in the PSL commencing from the 2014 season. Hippo Valley will be working with its sister club Triangle United to build a strong and competitive outfit which we believe will be sufficiently positioned to bring high standards into the game of football, while at the same time providing quality entertainment to the Lowveld community,” read the letter signed by Mudambanuki.

A senior player at the club who spoke on condition of anonymity said he was at a loss of words over the news.

“Considering how we played this season, to hear that our team has been disbanded it’s a major blow to us. I don’t know how we are going to manage it; everyone is at a loss of words. We heard that they cannot sponsor two teams in the Premier League,” the player said. Some of Hippo Valley players who will be affected by the decision are former Black Rhinos and FC Platinum player Rowen Nenzou, Fidelis Mangezi, Hillary Bakacheza and Louis Matawu, although they can still join Triangle.

Scenarios

1. Mutare City Rovers, who finished in second position, will take up their place
2. The league can relegate three teams, which will bring back Black Mambas into the PSL
3. Runners-up from all four regions can take part in playoffs

For now, position one is the most feasible as the Eastern Region Division One League has to provide a champion and it would not be fair to advantage Black Mambas from the Northern Region or any other region, in the event Mutare City lose the playoffs.

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