The Premier Soccer League (PSL) has expressed delight at the progress, which local clubs have made towards the resumption of local football after 17 of the 18 teams managed to conduct Covid-19 tests going into the weekend.
The majority of the clubs managed to resume training in the past week while others such as Black Rhinos and Dynamos had their players and staff vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Local football has not been played in the country since December 2019 while only one match, the Castle Challenge Cup pitting league winners FC Platinum and cup winners Highlanders, was played prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
The PSL is desperate to have football resume in the form of a Cup Championship, which they feel is the shortest and cheapest way to break the ice.
But reports suggest that Zifa are pushing for the resumption of the league
format, which can open the floodgates for lower leagues.
"We are pleased that 17 of the 18 PSL clubs have successfully done their Covid tests and the majority have already started training.
"We understand that some have taken the initiative to have players and staff vaccinated. We encourage other clubs to also get vaccinated as we prepare to start our football," PSL CEO Kenny Ndebele told Standardsport.
"We understand and appreciate the commitment of the clubs, who have had to dig deep into their coffers as well as go out of their way to find sponsors to foot the Covid testing bills. We are happy that we have started and we are looking forward to the AGM (annual general meeting) scheduled for April 30".
The cup competition will have 18 teams placed in groups across four cities, namely Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Zvishavane.
Six teams -- CAPS United, Dynamos, Harare City, Herentals, Yadah and ZPC Kariba -- will constitute the group based in Harare while four Bulawayo teams -- Bulawayo Chiefs, Bulawayo City, Chicken Inn and Highlanders -- will make another group.
Army side Black Rhinos will lead the Mutare group that will include Cranborne Bullets, Manica Diamonds and Tenax.
FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Triangle United and Whawha make the group that will battle it out in Zvishavane.
It is understood that the PSL have managed to convince Delta Beverages to sponsor the competition, which is scheduled to begin early May but Ndebele would neither confirm nor deny the reports.
"We are still engaging stakeholders and we are confident that we will be able to kick-off as scheduled. Last year we got the opportunity to start, but we could not so we do not want such a thing happening again," he said.
Ndebele said the PSL had approached stadium owners with a view to using stadia for free or pay subsidised rates while they have been in talks with potential TV and radio partners for the broadcasting of matches.
"I can tell you that we have written to the owners of the select stadia that we will be using to see if our clubs can use the facilities for free or at least pay subsidised rates.
"We understand that our clubs have not made any income in the past one year so the idea is to lessen the financial burden," he said.
"We have also been engaging potential broadcasting partners for our championship. We would love to broadcast as many matches as we can on radio and TV since fans are not allowed in the stadium.
"It would be nice to give our millions of fans outside the country an opportunity to also follow the matches. Broadcasting partners have been important to us before the Covid-19 outbreak and they remain vital to the success of our football".
Stadia that have been identified for the PSL competition include Barbourfields, Sakubva, Mandava and the National Sports Stadium.