THE Zimbabwe Women Football Super League is set to bounce back this weekend after a year’s hiatus, but two clubs — Inline Academy and New Orleans — are set to miss out after they pulled out over disagreements in affiliation fees and match official allowances.
THANDIWE MOYO/HENRY MHARA
In a statement released yesterday, Zifa women football administrator Theresa Maguraushe said the unbranded league would be kick-started by the NetOne Charity Shield final match between Black Rhinos and Inline Academy at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.
The league’s return has, however, been overshadowed by the pull-out of Bulawayo-based clubs Inline Academy and New Orleans.
The two clubs argue that in the absence of a league sponsor, they are incapacitated financially to fulfil league matches which will be played across the country.
They want the league format changed from being a national and divided into two zones where teams from the northern region play against eastern region teams while the southern region teams play the central region. This, they argue, will help clubs cut travelling costs.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport yesterday, Inline Academy team manager Takundwa Chimundiya said: “We indicated to the executive that there were issues that need clarification before we could pay our affiliation fees.
“We want the format of the league to be changed, especially since there is no sponsor and also to find the cheapest way of playing. Since the league has no sponsor, then there is no reason why it should be national.”
However, Zifa women football boss Miriam Sibanda yesterday said they had explained satisfactorily the structure of the affiliation fees, hence the bulk of the clubs had since paid up.
She said affiliation fees for each club were $400 while player licence fees were about $150 per team. She said they had reviewed match official fees to $70 per match.
The fixture list for the opening round of matches — which has 12 teams — was released yesterday.
Chimundiya said they were told to pay $15 per player for player licenses, $50 per official, $250 per match for referees and $400 for the affiliation fees.
“This means that we would have to pay $1 100 in affiliation fees, close to $3 900 for the match officials and the players would be travelling — they need food, accommodation and allowances — but if there is no sponsor, we will struggle,” Chimundiya said.
“It happened in 2011 and we struggled, forcing us to travel at night and booking one room for the players and the officials sleeping in vehicles which they would have travelled in. That is why the league ended prematurely because of financial problems.”
New Orleans chairman Tichaona Chikoho said: “We would have wanted to play, but the way these people are communicating is pathetic. We also do not understand the way that the affiliation fees are being paid.”
Tenax Queens v Faith Drive (Sakubva, 11am), Borrow Jets v Hwange ladies (Bulawayo Municipal Grounds, 10am), Chipembere Queens v ZRP Harare Province (Mkoba, 12pm).
Sunday: Auckland Queens v Conduit Academy ( Heiman Gmeiner Grounds, 11am), Mufakose Queens v Cyclone Stars (Mufakose Grounds, 11am)
Wednesday: Black Rhinos Queens v Flame Lily Queens (2 Brigade, 11am)