REIGNING Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo (pictured) and his compatriots Donald Teguru and Takudzwa Chimwe will resume their battle against relegation as Zambian Premier Soccer League (ZPSL) restarts in two weeks’ time.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The ZPSL had, just like the rest of the world, been suspended as authorities sought to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In March, the Football Association of Zambia issued a directive to clubs to halt all training activities following government advice.
Since then, there has been anxiety on the resumption of the league programme due to the continued threat of the deadly pandemic.
However, with some of the leagues in the world having already restarted, Zambia has planned to commence football activities on July 18.
Ngodzo, who won the coveted Soccer Star of the Year in Zimbabwe last season in the colours of Caps United — a recognition which earned him a lucrative contract with Buildcon in the January transfer window, will be hoping his side beats the drop zone as the league programme enters a decisive phase.
Two other Zimbabwean players, Teguru and Chimwemwe, who were on the books of Ngezi Platinum and Harare City, respectively, also joined the wealthy Zambian side during the same period and will be looking to halt the club’s slide into relegation.
Buildcon are languishing in fourth position from the bottom with just 25 points from 23 matches and having lost their last two matches before the lockdown, they hope to turn around things in the remaining 11 matches of the campaign.
Nakambala Leopards are third from the bottom with only 17 points, having played one more game than Buildcon, while Mufulira Wanderers are second from the bottom with a paltry 14 points despite having played 25 matches.
Kabwe YSA are at the foot of the table, but have the same number of points as Mufulira Wanderers.
While other countries in the region are beginning to give contact sports like football the greenlight to restart, there is no definite date when football will resume in Zimbabwe.
Besides the Zambian league, the South African Premier League is also set to restart this month.
The Zimbabwe Football Association has tentatively set August/September for the league restart.
Although the government has relaxed some of the lockdown restrictions, with some sporting codes classified as low risk given the greenlight to go ahead with their activities, football remain suspended.
Despite the gloomy picture of the resumption of football in the country, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is still clinging on faint hopes it will start this year.
PSL action had been scheduled to start in March, but was halted after the government imposed a national lockdown which banned mass gatherings as part of measures to curb the continued spread of the dreaded pandemic.