19 March 2017

Zimbabwe: Bantu, Shabanie Mine in Limbo

NEWLY-promoted Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs Bantu Rovers and Shabanie Mine's dance with top-flight football is in jeopardy as they have been given a seven-day deadline to settle their affiliation fees ahead of the start of the 2017 season on April 1.

This came out during the PSL's annual general meeting (AGM) held in the capital yesterday, where the two clubs although represented were unable to participate in proceedings as they are yet to pay up the affiliation fees for newly-promoted clubs, set at $9 200.

"We had representatives from 17 clubs, including those from Bantu Rovers and Shabanie Mine, who came as observers and could not participate in proceedings because they have not paid their full affiliation fees," PSL communications officer Kudzai Bare said yesterday. "They have been given seven days to pay up."

Bare said PSL clubs had resolved to take a stronger stance to curb violence and hooliganism at local football matches, while adhering to the CAF club licensing system.

"The main issue which came up was on violence and hooliganism at football matches and how we can try to curb it this year. So we agreed as the 18 PSL clubs that each club will employ a security officer and a media officer and those are the people that we will be working with on the ground to come up with programmes to curb violence and hooliganism. There was also a resolution for clubs to continue fan engagement on issues to do with violence and hooliganism," she said.

"We also touched on club licensing where clubs this year will have to be serious about issues to do with governance. Clubs should have an effective secretariat and offices and lease agreements with the stadiums that they use and should produce their annual audited financial statements."

Yesterday's AGM came at a time when PSL are in talks with Delta Beverages following the end of a six-year sponsorship deal last December, but renewal talks were being hampered by boardroom squabbles between PSL and the football motherbody, the Zimbabwe Football Association, towards the end of 2016.

While PSL maintains that negotiations are still ongoing, Standardsport understands that a new deal is imminent.

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