CHAOS could cripple the Premier Soccer League (PSL) at the end of the season due to the unresolved issue of the number of clubs to be relegated, investigations by Independen
tSport have revealed.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has directed the PSL to trim the number of clubs to 12 from the current 14 by relegating five teams and admitting three from the First Division regions.
The PSL has however differed with the mother body’s position and instead wants to revert to 16 teams.
Sources within Zifa said the request by the PSL to have the mother body backtrack on its directive on the number of clubs to be relegated would not be granted by the Zifa Council.
The issue was on the agenda of the Zifa Council meeting earlier this year but could not be discussed due to the chaos that dominates football.
Mwandibuya Mutepfa, the secretary general of the PSL, this week conceded that the league will have no choice but to comply with the demand by Zifa to have five clubs relegated in the event that the season ends without deliberations on the issue by the Zifa Council.
“The Zifa Council is yet to deliberate on the issue,” said Mutepfa.
“As things stand, five teams will have to go. The league however still wishes for a return to 16 teams. Trimming down to 12 as desired by the mother body will create a situation whereby some regions will miss Premiership action,” said Mutepfa.
At a pre-season meeting this year, the PSL clubs strongly opposed the relegation of five clubs and directed the management committee to submit a proposal to Zifa.
In the event that the Zifa Council turns down the PSL proposal and insists that the league trims clubs to 12, chaos could erupt with affected teams refusing to play in First Division. The same scenario prevailed in 2000 when six clubs were relegated from the top-flight league as it reduced from 20 to 16. The affected teams such as DT Africa United resorted to the courts of law challenging the action.
With the current season already past the halfway mark, teams facing the danger of relegation include Blue Swallows, Kambuzuma United, Sundowns, Lancashire Steel, Wankie, Chapungu and Shabanie Mine.