BY FORTUNE MBELE
PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) chief executive Kennedy Ndebele has hailed the way the first round of matches in the Chibuku Super Cup were conducted as football made a return following over a year’s absence.
All but one of the weekend matches were broadcast live on various television channels with Alpha Media Holdings subsidiary Heart & Soul TV broadcasting the Group 3 matches in Mutare where Black Rhinos, Cranborne Bullets, Tenax and Manica Diamonds are all based.
Ndebele paid tribute to all football stakeholders for making the first games a success after more than 15 months of inactivity.
“We are very happy and excited as the PSL. We want to thank all the stakeholders who ensured the games were a success. It is a record that in Zimbabwe, we managed to broadcast live eight matches. Only one match, the Tenax vs Black Rhinos was not broadcast live for some reason. It is a new beginning,” Ndebele said.
He gave the thumbs up to the government, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), and Zifa for making possible the return of football.
“We also like to thank clubs, our sponsors, media partners and the print media and stadium owners for making this a success and making it go smooth. Also, we would like to pay tribute to the government through the SRC and for making the resumption of football possible and also the fans for staying at home. We will improve on other areas as we move,” Ndebele said.
After the Chibuku Super Cup match day 1, Chicken Inn lead the Group 1 table following their 2-0 win over Bulawayo City while Highlanders are on the second spot after also beating Bulawayo Chiefs 1-0 on Sunday.
Bulawayo City take on Bulawayo Chiefs in their next game at the weekend as Chicken Inn face Highlanders.
In Group 1 in Harare, it was all draws as giants Dynamos were held 1-1 by Herentals, Caps United also drew 2-2 with Yadah while Harare City and ZPC Kariba played to a 1-1 stalemate.
In Group 3 in Mutare, Manica Diamonds fell 1-0 to new boys Cranborne Bullets, while Black Rhinos clobbered Tenax 4-1.
In Zvishavane, PSL champions FC Platinum beat WhaWha 2-0 as Ngezi Platinum also beat Triangle 3-1.
Meanwhile Bulawayo City coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube has apologised for statements he made alleging that PSL officials were liable following the disqualification of his five players.
On Saturday Ncube said: “We had five players disqualified and we had to change the team in the dressing room. Someone in the Bulawayo City secretariat or the PSL secretariat did not do his duty,” Ncube said.
Bulawayo City yesterday held a Press conference at which Ncube apologised.
“First of all, I would like to say it’s a game of football and it has a lot of emotions. I would like to apologise for the insinuation in my post-match interview that appears to aver incompetence on the part of the PSL regarding five players ruled out of our tie against Chicken Inn. It was at the heat of the moment. As Bulawayo City coach, I wish to sincerely retract the aforesaid quote. I have all the respect for the PSL leadership and systems. As I speak, the PSL is helping us with registering the five players who missed the Saturday match with steady progress made this morning (yesterday),” Ncube said.
- Follow Fortune on Twitter @FortuneMbele