Former Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Shabanie Mine are sliding down a greasy pole after they hit a new low by failing to affiliate with the Central Region Division One which could condemn them to lower leagues.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The fervently-followed Zvishavane outfit primarily relies on well-wishers for a bailout in times of strife, but the free-falling economy seems to have weighed hard on its benefactors’ pockets.
Shabanie together with Real BVM are the only two teams which have failed to beat the March 31 deadline to register with the league.
However, NewsDay Sports understands that the latter were considering pulling out of the league owing to financial challenges.
Sixteen teams have affiliated with the Central Region including newcomers, Hurricanes, TelOne and Talen Vision.
Central Region chairperson Stanley Chapeta said they would resort to a 16-team league if the two failed to pay the fee.
“A total of 16 teams had affiliated by end of last week. Shabanie Mine and Real BVM have not yet registered.
“Real BVM were still deciding to register, but we will only know when they come forth.
“Chapungu are not yet sure if they will be with us, but of the three teams, we will only be able to accommodate two. If none of them comes forth, we will work with the available teams,” Chapeta said.
However, it is Shabanie Mine’s free-fall that has dampened the mood in the claret side of Zvishavane, while their cross-town rivals FC Platinum live their dream in the topflight.
Meanwhile, Chapungu, who were initially destined to play in this unfashionable second-tier league remain in a fix as they are unsure of their fate owing to the ever-twisting Herentals match-fixing saga.
Herentals were expelled from the PSL last week. Chapungu have their fingers crossed as they are yet to be recalled to the elite league.
The PSL registration deadline lapsed yesterday and it remains to be seen how the authorities will incorporate Chapungu if they are to remain afloat in the topflight.