Antipas wants traditional season

WITH all odds pointing to the Premier Soccer League season running from August through to May 2021 owing to the
COVID-19 pandemic, Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas says he prefers the March to November calendar.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

Zifa has indicated that the country’s elite league could start in August or September if the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted, adding that it could be an opportunity to align with the rest of the world.

Antipas, the 2015 championshipwinning coach with Chicken Inn before going to South Africa where he coached AmaZulu in the Absa Premiership, has reservations about the local league shifting dates.

“We August/May season is okay because we are re-aligning to the rest of the world. Although I prefer our March/November season. I have coached in South Africa and the grounds and facilities there are top notch. In Zimbabwe we could play but there will be lots of postponements due to poor stadiums and poor istent drainage systems. If we adopt it (August to May season) then we have to play as many games as possible before the rainy season,” Antipas said.

The former Warriors gather sentiments have also been highlighted by the PSL and the Footballers Union of
Zimbabwe, the latter fearing players could be exposed to serious injuries due to slippery pitches during the rainy
season if facilities are not upgraded.

Antipas has previously indicated it was difficult to monitor players doing individual training at home and is preparing himself for a heavy workload once they are allowed to resume training: “We will have to work on group
training for starters just like the rest of the clubs are doing worldwide before we start squad training.”

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Chicken Inn club secretary Tavengwa Hara has said a shi of season required a broad consultation among
stakeholders.

Hara, a lawyer and SuperSport trained football administrator, said the issue of player contracts needed to be thrashed out.

“As things stand we follow the wind.

If the lockdown is lifted earlier than August then there should be a tournament which pushes us there (to August). And the re-alignment of contracts is key because our window opened and closed and we had already registered 2020 players for the March to November season. It won’t be easy to rush for that change of season. A lot of consultation is needed from all stakeholders, not for a three-some Zifa emergency committee to wake up and say we are changing the season.” Hara said.

Zifa has said it will be directed by government and other stakeholders on the direction to take before implementation.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on: news@alphamedia.co.zw

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