PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) clubs yesterday expressed concern over attempts by the Phillip Chiyangwa-led Zifa board to take over the running of the top-flight league as relations between the two sunk to a new low in the wake of the suspension of their chairman Peter Dube.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Dube was on Monday suspended for allegedly disrupting proceedings during a heated congress meeting on October 29, where the Zifa assembly shockingly reversed a decision they made on July 25 last year, which paved way for the relegation of two teams from the elite league this year.
Dube, the Highlanders chairman, is accused of interrupting formal congress proceedings and addressing delegates without seeking permission from the chairman (Chiyangwa).
In a clear sign of unity from clubs in the wake of the onslaught by Zifa, the PSL board of governors made the following resolutions:
“… in response to our letter aforesaid, and for which we take collective responsibility as the PSL governors and on behalf of our respective clubs, Zifa suspended our chairman on allegations that find their expression first in Zifa’s response to our letter aforesaid, “That there is a deliberate scheme to render the PSL dysfunctional and consequently we note the following:
i) the abortive attempt to amend the Zifa constitution on the 29th October 2016 so as to effectively expel the members of the PSL from Zifa and have the PSL, which has not applied for membership, imposed as a member on the club’s behalf with delegates reduced from 16 to 4.
ii) the unjustified suspension, in our view, of our chairman is punishment for communicating our collective view.
iii) the threats, direct and implied, directed at officers of the PSL or member clubs, that they will be suspended or otherwise dealt with for not towing the line.
iv) the description of the PSL as an organisation which has no standing in terms of the Zifa constitution, a position we do not agree with as Zifa constitution mentions the PSL, and Zifa has received and continues to receive the PSL’s affiliation fees and levies.
The PSL also expressed its reservations on the circular warning clubs “not to maintain any relations of any nature whatsoever with persons and entities that have no legal recognition in the Zifa statutes or with individuals and members that have been suspended or expelled”.
v) the “directive” that PSL clubs are ‘bound not to maintain any relations of any nature whatsoever with persons and entities that have no legal recognition in the Zifa statutes…” is directed at the PSL.
vi) the directive that “each PSL club as a member of Zifa is required to take all decisions on matters regarding their membership independently of any external body, entity or person” is an unlawful attempt to stifle consultation amongst PSL clubs in respect of common interests.”
vii) Zifa’s administrative structures and congress have been rendered dysfunctional such that Zifa as an entity can no longer make decisions as such, but has become a powerless vehicle for the implementation of the whims of a group of individuals who have arrogated to themselves the exclusive function of running football in Zimbabwe.
Alive to the following:
i) the apparent strategy to have the PSL clubs fall directly under Zifa, and
ii) the wish to have the PSL’s competitions run under the direct supervision and command of Zifa with PSL clubs reporting directly to Zifa as an asset of Zifa, as a way of rendering the PSL irrelevant, and
That our very existence is under threat and that we have an obligation to preserve the same for the sake of our common good.”
Meanwhile, the PSL leadership said it would be left with no choice but to take Zifa to the Court of Arbitration for Sports if the national association continues to insist on four teams being relegated. In a 32-page document addressed to Chiyangwa, PSL questions the wisdom of changing the relegation format with just two games to go.
A September 2015 Zifa assembly agreed to relegate two teams and promote the same number after play-offs involving winners of the four Zifa regional Division One leagues.
However, Zifa councillors voted to dump the 2015 resolution and instead relegate four sides from the PSL and promote four in a chaotic meeting last month.
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We, the undersigned Governors of the Premier Soccer League:
A. lawfully congregated in Congress in accordance with the PSL Statutes, and
B. by lawful authority representing the following PSL members:
BORDER STRIKERS FC
BULAWAYO CITY FC
CAPS UNITED FC
HARARE CITY FC – APOLOGY BUT ABIDING BY THE PSL RESOLUTION OF THE 29TH OCTOBER 2016
HOW MINE FC
MUTARE CITY FC
NGEZI PLATINUM FC
TRIANGLE UNITED FC
ZPC KARIBA FC
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WHEREAS the PSL is a univestitas as common law, being a private voluntary association of football teams participating in association football under the name and style of the “Premier Soccer League” in Zimbabwe, and
WHEREAS the above-named clubs are the current members of the PSL, and
WHEREAS the PSL is an affiliate, but not a member of the Zimbabwe Football
Association (“ZIFA”), and is up to date with its affiliate financial obligations, and
WHEREAS the above-named Clubs are members of ZIFA all and each in good standing in respect of their financial obligations to ZIFA, and
RECALLING further that on 29 October 2016, following the ZIFA Congress of the same date, we congregated in an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting at Rainbow Towers Hotel, Harare and resolved as follows:
“1. It be and is hereby resolved that all the delegates present hereby waive the right to notice and the other procedural requirements obligated by the PSL Statutes for their benefit.
2. It be and is hereby resolved that the PSL and its constituent members formally dispute the validity of the rescission resolution.
To this end, the Chairman be and is hereby mandated to advise all parties concerned that the PSL and its constituent members:
(a) Formally declare a dispute with ZIFA on the matters in issue, and
(b) The PSL and its members reserve the right to proceed to [the Court of Arbitration for Sport] CAS for disposition of thedispute pursuant to Article 59 (2) of the ZIFA Statutes, and
(c) That the PSL and its constituent members remain committed to an amicable resolution of the dispute, provided such amicable resolution is predicated on the following principles: –
(i) Respect of the Statutes and a return to it as the supreme law of ZIFA, and
(ii) Reinstatement of the playoffs resolution, and
(iii) The funding and administration of the playoffs by the PSL on behalf of Congress on terms agreed to by the PSL, the Regions and the ZIFA Secretariat.
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(iv) The engagement should commence immediately and in any event, not later than Wednesday the 2nd November 2016. Should there be no bona fide engagement or the matter remains unresolved by the 7th November 2016, the PSL and its constituent members immediately invoke Article
59 (2) of the ZIFA Statutes and refer the dispute to CAS.”
THAT pursuant to the above resolution, the Chairman of the PSL, Peter Dube,
communicated to the ZIFA president our collective position on the matters in issue on the 2nd November 2016, and advised ZIFA, in pertinent part, as follows:
“4. We advise that:
4.1 The PSL and the individual member clubs thereof, do not consider the rescission resolution to have been validly made (the word “we” as used in this minute means, for the avoidance of doubt, the PSL and the individual member clubs thereof, jointly and severally.)
4.2 We consider that the rescission resolution is void. It is as such of no force or effect.
4.3 We consider, further, that the playoffs resolution is extant and binding on all the parties involved.
4.4 We consider, even further, that Congress has committed a fundamental breach of the practice by which clubs have gained promotion and have been demoted from the PSL ever since the member clubs of the then ZIFA Super League pulled out of ZIFA in the early 1990s to form the PSL as a stand-alone entity that is independent, distinct and separate from ZIFA.
4.5 We are of the firm view, as setout herein below, that as a result of the fundamental breach aforesaid, we are entitled to enforce the same by seeking an order for the specific performance of the playoffs resolution in CAS.
Pending the resolution of the matter by CAS we will not, as a private voluntary organization, accept the imposition of members upon us by a formula that we are not party to.
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Consequently, we will not be relegating any of the present member clubs of the PSL at the end of the 2016 season. This will remain theposition until such a time as CAS disposes of the dispute.
5. We hereby formally declare a formal dispute with ZIFA on the matters set out in paragraph 4 above.
6. We are open to an amicable solution to the impasse. We will, accordingly, welcome any efforts to resolve the same in the best interests of our football. We thus reserve the right to invoke Article 59 (2) of the ZIFA Statutes and refer the dispute for resolution by CAS. “
THAT we accordingly each and all, jointly and severally, formally declared a dispute with ZIFA and advised that failing the amicable resolution of the dispute we would refer the matter to the CAS to Article 59 (2) of the ZIFA Constitution, and
THAT in response to our letter aforesaid, and for which we take collective responsibility as the PSL Governors and on behalf of our respective Clubs, ZIFA suspended our Chairman on allegations that find their expression first in ZIFA’s response to our letter aforesaid, and
THAT there is a deliberate scheme to render the PSL dysfunctional and consequently we note the following:
i) the abortive attempt to amend the ZIFA Constitution on the 29th October 2016 so as to effectively expel the members of the PSL from ZIFA and have the PSL, which has not applied for membership, imposed as a member on the Club’s behalf with delegates reduced from 16 to 4.
ii) the unjustified suspension, in our view, of our Chairman is punishment for communicating our collective view.
iii) the threats, direct and implied, directed at officers of the PSL or member Clubs, that they will be suspended or otherwise dealt with for not towing the line.
iv) the description of the PSL as an organization which has no standing in terms of the ZIFA Constitution, a position we do not agree with as ZIFA Constitution mentions the PSL, and ZIFA has received and continues to receive the PSL’s affiliation fees and levies.
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v) the “directive” that PSL Clubs are “bound not to maintain any relations of any nature whatsoever with persons and entities that have no legal recognition in the ZIFA Statutes…” is directed at the PSL.
vi) the directive that “each PSL Club as a member of ZIFA is required to take all decisions on matters regarding their membership independently of any external body, entity or person” is an unlawful attempt to stifle consultation amongst PSL Clubs in respect of common interests, and
vii) ZIFA’s administrative structures and Congress have been rendered dysfunctional such that ZIFA as an entity can no longer make decisions as such, but has become a powerless vehicle for the implementation of the whims of a group of individuals who have arrogated to themselves the exclusive function of running football in Zimbabwe
ALIVE to the following:
i) the apparent strategy to have the PSL Clubs fall directly under ZIFA, and
ii) the wish to have the PSL’s competitions run under the direct supervision and command of ZIFA with PSL Clubs reporting directly to ZIFA as an asset of ZIFA, as a way of rendering the PSL irrelevant, and
THAT our very existence is under threat and that we have an obligation to preserve the same for the sake of our common good,
NOW RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:
1. THAT we all and each waive the right to the notice periods and procedural requirements in respect of the convention of a meeting of this nature and now congregate in Congress to deliberate on the following matters:
1.1 Verification of delegates,
1.2 Suspension of the PSL Chairman by the ZIFA Executive Committee,
1.3 Promotion and Relegation of Teams
2. THAT Keni Mubaiwa be elected Chairman of this Congress
3. THAT pending the outcome of the action taken against the Chairman or the election of a new Chairman, as the case may be,
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3.1 The Emergency Committee of the PSL be and is hereby mandated to superintend over the affairs of the PSL.
3.2 The Chairman of the Emergency Committee from time to time shall preside over Congress.
3.3 Lewis Uriri be and is hereby appointed onto the Emergency Committee as the Spokesperson in respect of matters covered by this resolution only.
3.4 The Chief Executive Officer shall with immediate effect report directly to the Emergency Committee.
4. THAT pursuant to our resolution of the 29th October 2016 aforesaid, which we hereby reaffirm, we shall all and each proceed post-haste to:
4.1 formally request arbitration in terms of the CAS Rules of Procedure, and
4.2 apply to CAS for interim measures of protection which shall include but not limited to the following:
4.2.1 an order barring ZIFA from interfering with the day to day running of the PSL, and
4.2.2 an order barring the purported suspension of, and commencement of any proceedings whatsoever against the Governors attending this meeting and/or their respective clubs and/or the PSL on the basis that:
188.8.131.52 they have associated with an organization, being the PSL, considered to have no legal standing in the ZIFA Statutes, or
184.108.40.206 they have not made decisions incidental to their membership of ZIFA “independently”, or
220.127.116.11 they have pursued the arbitration route with CAS, or
18.104.22.168 they have declined to be bound by the unlawful and hence immediately null and void, resolution of the ZIFA Congress of the 29th October 2016
4.2.3 barring the forcible imposition of members on the PSL.
4.2.4 allowing, for the avoidance of doubt, the PSL to continue to manage its competitions as in the past.
4.2.5 barring the interference with the PSL’s resolution that it will not relegate any member Club at the end of the 2016 season pending the disposition of the substantive dispute by CAS, and generally all such interim relief as in Counsel’s view, may be necessary or incidental to the effective implementation of the foregoing.
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5. THAT ADVOCATE PAT KACHIDZA a legal practitioner practising as such in the United Kingdom and in Harare, and/or ADVOCATE LEWIS URIRI a legal practitioner practising as such in Harare, be and are hereby appointed as the PSL and its Clubs’ agents before the CAS, and that production of this minute before CAS shall be adequate proof of
ADVOCATE PAT KACHIDZA and/or ADVOCATE LEWIS URIRI’s authority to act for and on behalf of the PSL and its member Clubs aforesaid, jointly and severally.
6. THAT the budget for Counsel’s fees presented to Congress be and is hereby approved.
THUS, DONE AND RESOLVED AT HARARE THIS 19TH NOVEMBER 2016.
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE PSL:
KENI MUBAIWA LIFA NCUBE
LOVEMORE MATIKINYIDZE LEWIS URIRI
FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE PSL CLUBS:
Club Name Signature
Border Strikers FC Mr. Mandla Moyo
CAPS United FC Adv. Lewis Uriri
Chapungu United FC Mr. Fungai Makuyana
Chicken Inn FC Mr. Lifa Ncube
Dynamos FC Mr. Keni Mubaiwa
FC Platinum Mr. Dumisani Sisale
How Mine FC Mr. Paul MacAndrew
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Hwange FC Mr. Joseph Zulu
Mutare City FC Mr. Isdore C. Bingura
Ngezi Platinum FC Mr. Jeremiah Gasitene
Triangle United FC Mr. Lovemore Matikinyidze
Tsholotsho FC Mr. Mlamuli Phiri
ZPC Kariba FC Mr. Tungamirai Mazarire
Highlanders FC Mr. Modern Ngwenya
Bulawayo City FC Mr. Prince Butshe Dube