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TM Challenge Cup on

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ALL the 16 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs are set to benefit from the inaugural $110 000 TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup pitting Dynamos and Highlanders scheduled for September 6 at the National Sports Stadium as the other 14 teams will be compensated by the sponsors.

TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA

Dynamos were chosen as last year’s champions while Highlanders come in as runners-up.

Although the two teams will battle it out, it has emerged that the other 14 teams will also be rewarded financially even without kicking a ball because the PSL board of governors resolved that challenge or friendly matches could not be played during the course of the league programme.
The board, chaired by Twine Phiri, says this can only happen before or at the end of the season and that if they were to be played during the course of the league programme, it has to involve all the teams in the top-flight league and cannot be limited to just two teams.
However, the PSL found it professionally difficult to stop the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup as the organisers had already committed a lot of resources to the staging of the match although communication had not been done directly with them as per procedure.
It was Dynamos and Highlanders who had been communicating with the organisers of the match instead of presenting their case to the PSL to deal directly with the sponsors.
And to save the situation, the PSL gave the cup the nod on a number of conditions including the postponement of all league games for that weekend.
It was also agreed with the sponsors that the other 14 teams had to be also rewarded financially even if they were not taking part in the match, since their postponed weekend matches would now be played mid-week, leading to loss of income.
Winners of the Challenge Cup will walk away with $60 000 while runners-up will pocket
$50 000.
It could, however, not be established how much each of the other 14 teams would get, but sources said each team was guaranteed more than $4 000, just to cover for that weekend loss of gate takings.
“The PSL would like to confirm that the TM Pick n Pay Challenge Match has been cleared. The match will be played on September 6 2014 at the National Sports Stadium,” PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele wrote to the sponsors.
“Please be advised that the challenge match will be organised through the PSL. We would like to bring to your attention that, as discussed at the meeting on August 4, the PSL is an organisation consisting of 16 football clubs.
“The said football clubs are governed by a board of governors wherein each club is represented by a chairman/president or managing director. One of the board of governors’ resolutions is that no challenge or friendly matches will be played during the main football season calendar.
“We have consulted the board of governors who have waived this rule on the following conditions:
The TM Pick n Pay Challenge Match will be managed by the league. The Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches will be suspended on the weekend 6/7 September. Two clubs — Dynamos FC and Highlanders FC — are to participate and receive agreed prize money.”
The PSL boss said: “We found it professionally difficult to stop the challenge cup because the organisers of the match had committed a lot of resources for the match.
“Highlanders and Dynamos had been communicating directly with the sponsors instead of through the PSL as per procedure. We then agreed to postpone all the league games so that focus will be on this match,” said Ndebele.
TM Pick n Pay group finance director Onias Makamba said: The Premier Soccer League has agreed to assist in any way necessary to ensure that this day and indeed the promotion, is a success. The inaugural TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup will be held on September 6 at the National Sports Stadium, as the climax of the Big Brands Bargain Bonanza.”
“The match will be held between the winner and runner-up from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Season 2013, being Dynamos FC and Highlanders FC, respectively.
“The teams will compete for the coveted trophy and prize money which will see the winner pocketing $60 000 and the runner-up walking away with
$50 000. All Castle Lager PSL fixtures will be suspended for this weekend to ensure full attention on the cup final.”

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