Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
ZIFA are still forging ahead with their plan to have the National First Division (NFD) in place at the beginning of next year but finances stand in their way.
Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda said while the final word on the NFD lay with the association’s congress, the executive was out seeking sponsorship for the proposed second tier of local football.
He said with funding the setting up of the NFD is likely to be automatic as it is contained within the Zifa constitution but has not been implemented because of financial challenges.
“Yes, we want it but the final decision lies with the Assembly. As the executive we are busy looking for funding for this aspect of our game. We are trying our best to turn round the Zifa brand and with the Cosafa success we are hoping companies will realise we are worth partnering and will come on board,” said Sibanda.
Addressing participants during a Zifa Level One administration course, Sibanda said four teams from each of Zifa’s four regional leagues, Southern, Central, Northern and Eastern will group to make up the initial teams for the NFD.
Things came to a head at the beginning of the year when Zifa and the Premier Soccer League clashed over the relegation and promotion of teams to the top flight and the setting up of the NFD could solve the conundrum.
An agreement was reached that two teams would be relegated from the top-flight league with the four winners from Division One taking part in play-offs to determine the two teams to be promoted.
However, a somersault by Zifa councillors during an AGM in October last year changed the earlier position throwing chaos to the relegation issue until the PSL agreed to accommodate four teams while only ejecting two clubs leading to the current 18-team league.