THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) has warned clubs to obey football rules and regulations, in the wake of the Dynamos-Highlanders match fiasco at the weekend that has left the PSL and Zifa on a collision course.
BY HENRY MHARA
This comes after the PSL’s main sponsors, Delta Beverages, reportedly registered their displeasure at the way Zifa tried to handle the events from the feisty match on Sunday, which ended in a 1-1.
“We encourage our teams to adhere to the rules and regulations of the tournament. We urge our players to uphold the spirit of fair play and good sportsmanship throughout the tournament. I appeal to you to promote the interests of football,” PSL chief executive officer, Kennedy Ndebele said.
Dynamos striker, Christian Ntouba was red-carded for head-butting Highlanders defender, Peter Muduhwa, off the ball, in the dying minutes of the match played at Rufaro Stadium.
But Zifa, on Monday, shockingly nullified the red card after Dynamos wrote to the local football governing body complaining about the way referee, Arnold Ncube had handled the match, resulting in the expulsion of their striker.
However, the PSL on Tuesday reinstated Ntouba’s suspension, and he is set to miss his team’s next two matches, including the Harare derby against nemesis, Caps United at Rufaro on Sunday.
PSL and Zifa are currently working to find common ground on the debacle.
The debacle, which has dominated the football landscape this week, has reportedly infuriated sponsors, Delta Beverages and the PSL yesterday used the Chibuku Super Cup launch, also bankrolled by the same company, to ask clubs to obey the rules
This is not the first time that the PSL and Zifa have clashed over football rules and regulations. Last year, the two clashed over the number of teams to be relegated and promoted into the top-flight league.
According to new PSL rules, endorsed by the Zifa assembly, two teams were set to be dropped from the top-flight league, with an equal number promoted from Division One. But Zifa then made a U-turn midway through the season and demanded that four teams be relegated, with the same number promoted.
But after haggling for a long time, the two parties reached a compromise, where four teams were promoted and two relegated to the second-tier league.
The clash endangered the PSL sponsorship deal with Delta Beverages, who had threatened not to renew it.
They did renew the contract at the start of the season and the PSL yesterday thanked the beverage manufacturer for their continued support in the league and the Chibuku Super Cup.
Delta Beverages also launched a new trophy this year, Castle Lager Challenge Cup — which will be contested by league champions and the winners of the Chibuku Super Cup.
The PSL yesterday thanked the company for their continued support in developing the game in the country.
“I would want to express our hearty appreciation to Delta Beverages for their commitment to Zimbabwean football. Your continued support is playing a key role in developing our football. We hope that you continue to be an integral part of this tournament (Chibuku Super Cup) until the final whistle,” Ndebele said.