PSL get sponsor, championship set for July

The Herald

Grace Chingoma

Senior Sports Reporter

THE Premier Soccer League have revealed they have secured sponsorship to kick-start the domestic Premiership.

The sponsors, believed to be Delta Corporation, are set to bankroll a tournament, which will serve as a test case, before the championship race.

Yesterday, the PSL governors agreed at their annual meeting to begin the new championship race on July 17.

The 2021 season will be preceded by a mini-tournament where the 18 clubs have been placed into four groups.

It gets underway this month.

The sponsors, who will bankroll both the tournament and the league championship, are set to be unveiled at the official launch, in the next two weeks’ time.

However, sources last night said the league have retained their all-weather partner, Delta Corporation, who will bankroll the Chibuku Super Cup first, before the Castle Lager Premiership, starts in two months’ time.

League chairman, Farai Jele, said the cluster tournament will serve as a case study, as they check their systems, to try and adhere to Covid-19 regulations.

The success of this will see the league championship getting underway, on July 19.

“After more than a year out of football, we had a very good meeting, a fruitful one,’’ said Jere.

“The most pertinent issues, which we discussed, were to do with the resumption of football.

“We are starting with a tournament, which getting underway on the 15th of May.

“Teams have been drawn into four groups, and we have got a sponsor for that tournament, but we are not, at this stage, going to announce the identity of the sponsor.

“On the launch ceremony, which is set for within a week or so, you will know who the sponsor is.

“We also have a proposal to resume the league on the 17th of July, that is the date of kick off the league.’’

Jere said what was key was that a sponsor had been secured and football was coming back.

“What is very critical is that we have a sponsor for the tournament, which is upcoming, and the league,’’ he said.

“So, the announcement might be one day or it could be the other on a later date because the sponsor is the same, for this tournament and the league.

“As PSL clubs, we are very excited about that.

“The date for the resumption of football, which is the league championship, is also very critical, because it is now going to inform the application, which will be sent by ZIFA, for the resumption of football for Division One and Division Two, because of the relegation and promotion matrix.

“We cannot resume our football, the championship, without Division One and Division Two.

“And, the tournament, which we are having, is also going to help the Government because it is going to work as a case study.

“They will see if we have got any incidents, are we following the protocols, which are laid down by the Government, the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation?

“We are very excited, all the governors are happy, you can see as the chairman, I was also very happy with this meeting, it went on very well and according to plan.”

The CAPS United boss said the meeting addressed the thorny issue of contracts, which affected the clubs, and threatened to derail football resumption.

“We had a lawyer, and that lawyer clarified issues which have been outstanding, which have been very pertinent and critical to both players and the clubs,’’ he said.

“The clarification was very clear, and it’s actually in line with the recommendations from FIFA, which actually gave us comfort that it actually came from the lawyers.

“The lawyer took us from the definition of a contract.

“A contract has got terms or services, which are supposed to provided, so if the service is not provided, obviously, the clubs have got right to claim for specific performance.

“This means whichever club wants a player, who has been fully paid as per the guideline from ZIFA for 2020, they can compensate the club which has paid for the signing-on fee and all the salaries.

“Those were the conditions, up to the last day of the last season, because there is an obligation by that particular player to provide a service, which has been paid for.

“That service, if proven that it’s not been provided, then there is an issue of specific performance, which the lawyer also provided guidance for.

“All the governors were very happy because it was a sticking point, but these are the guidelines from ZIFA, which means the ZIFA lawyers had looked into them.’’

 


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