Zimbabwe: PSL Engage Stadium Owners, Restart Postponed

The Premier Soccer League have started engaging stadium owners to try and have the facilities upgraded ahead of the 2021 top-flight season.

The start of the season has been pushed back, from this coming weekend, to May 22.

There is an expectation the Chibuku Super Cup will get the season underway while the league will start on July 17.

The PSL have revealed the Cup competition and the championship will be bankrolled by a single sponsor.

"This (postponement) has been necessitated by the need to conclude negotiations with our commercial partners and other key stakeholders," said league spokesperson, Kudzai Bare.

"We endeavour to conclude broadcasting agreements (both radio and television) as soon as possible to ensure that our matches reach all football fans, across the country.

"It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home."

Bare revealed the PSL were in talks with stadium owners, who should spruce up the venues, to meet the minimum expected standards.

Four stadiums -- the National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields, Sakubva and Mandava -- are expected to host the season-opening tournament.

The National Sports Stadium will house six clubs for the tournament -- CAPS United, Dynamos, Herentals, Yadah, Harare City and ZPC Kariba.

Black Rhinos, Manica Diamonds, Cranborne Bullets and Tenax will play at Sakubva.

Hwahwa, Triangle, Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum will battle it out at Mandava.

Highlanders, Bulawayo Chiefs, Chicken Inn and Bulawayo City will have Barbourfields as their battleground.

The top two teams from each group will progress to the quarter-finals.

And, after the tournament, all other stadiums in the country are expected to have attained minimum standards required by the ZIFA First Instance Board.

"We are in talks with stadium owners so that the stadiums are ready and meet the minimum requirements before the start of the competitions," said Bare.

"Our cup tournament will be played at Mandava, Barbourfields, Sakubva and the National Sports Stadium.

"Our main priority is health and safety of players, coaches, officials, and fans and we will work to ensure that everyone involved in our football adheres to the Covid-19 health protocols.

"We are working with our clubs to ensure risks are assessed and minimised and all clubs are compliant with the health protocols.

"We will continue to work with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2021 season."

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