HomeSportPSL hit by knockout tournaments drought

PSL hit by knockout tournaments drought

Itai Dzamara

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) is likely to end the season without any major knockout tournament following the withdrawal of Madison and BP at the beginning of the year.

P>Investigations by IndependentSport revealed that the top-flight league has yet to secure any sponsorship for a knockout tournament and might only be involved in the government sponsored Zifa Unity Cup.

Sources within the PSL said efforts to secure sponsorship from the corporate world had been in vain.

It was highly likely that the season would end without any sponsorship for a knockout tournament, the investigations revealed. The sources said PSL management committee has almost given up on the issue.

Mwandibuya Mutepfa, the secretary general of the PSL, confirmed that the league had not yet secured any sponsorship for tournaments.

“We haven’t yet confirmed any sponsorship. However, there are two companies with which we are negotiating,” said Mutepfa.

“One of the companies could sponsor a tournament involving the top four teams at the end of the season but we are not yet in the picture of the format that the other tournament would take,” he said.

The soccer governing body Zifa has not yet confirmed the staging of the Zifa Unity Cup this season. The knockout tournament that also accommodates teams from the social leagues was launched in 2001.

Rothmans of Pall Mall and BP Shell withdrew their sponsorship for the Madison and BP Cups, citing the harsh economic environment.

The BP Cup had been on the PSL calendar since 1994, while the Madison Trophy was introduced in 1999.

The Dairibord Charity Shield was also withdrawn from the PSL calendar this year, leaving only the Independence Trophy and the OK Grand Challenge.

The Grand Challenge trophy was this season marred by the refusal by Highlanders to play their semi-final match against Black Rhinos.

Local soccer has for a long time failed to attract sufficient support from the corporate world largely because of maladministration at Zifa.

Chaos has equally marred the staging of tournaments such as the BP Cup and the Madison Trophy, leaving the sponsors regretting their involvement at a time they would be hoping to gain mileage.

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