BY FORTUNE MBELE
PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) football will commence this July, some 18 months after topflight football was suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The pre-season tournament, which will precede the league season, begins in two weeks time.
The league is still in discussion over sponsorship for both the league and the tournament with the latter slated for May 15.
The start of the league is one of the resolutions that was made at the league’s annual general meeting in Harare yesterday to map the way forward for the resumption of football.
PSL vice-chairman Lifa Ncube confirmed this to NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“The league will start on July 17 and the (pre-season) tournament on May 15. There is no date yet for when the season will end. It will depend on international fixtures. The calendar will be out, but because of this tournament, the tentative date for start is July 17. We will see how it goes, but most likely it will roll over into next year. I doubt if we would have finished all the games by year end,” Ncube said.
The major challenge could be the readiness of most of the stadia during the rainy season, but PSL chief executive officer Kenny Ndebele recently said they are engaging local authorities on plans to give the facilities a facelift.
Ndebele said most stadia might not ready to host international matches, but they are fit for the local league games.
Another issue that was discussed at the meeting was player contracts. It was resolved that they roll over to this year, crashing the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe, who had said clubs should discuss new deals with players.
Ncube said they will stick to Zifa directives on player contracts.
“We will stand guided by Zifa on player contracts. We will stick to Zifa guidelines and we resolved on contracts roll over,” Ncube said.
The tournament to be played on four centres in Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare and Zvishavane and the league proper will be played under strict COVID-19 protocols.
The league recently flighted and advertisement seeking volunteer COVID-19 compliance officer to help with the smooth running of football programmes.
The human resources and competitions and development portfolios went to Triangle and Manica Diamonds as the league filled vacancies for the emergency committees.
- Follow Fortune on Twitter @FortuneMbele