The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
AFFILIATION fees for the Zifa Southern Region Division One league have been pegged at US$2 000 despite protests from clubs who felt the amount was excessive in light of eroded incomes during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Clubs sought to have the amount lowered during an annual general meeting held yesterday but the executive insisted that to effectively run the league the fees should remain the same. The executive argued they had in fact reduced the fees from the previous U$2 500.
In his report, chairman Andrew Tapela indicated that they had set dates for the resumption of the game although they are waiting for the green light from the Sports and Recreation Commission. He said while they had missed the proposed date that clubs resume training, last Wednesday, they are still hopeful that resumption of the Division One league is around the corner.Tapela said with the Premier League teams expected to kick off with a preseason tournament next week, they believe they should not be far from being given the green light to begin training.
“The PSL cannot start and go ahead without Division one also starting, likewise the lower leagues should also start because no league can play in isolation. We had proposed dates for the league to resume and we submitted all the relevant papers so we are awaiting approval to begin,” he said.
Tapela emphasised that teams should stay prepared and be ready to resume under the new normal that will see various health protocols being implemented. The affiliation and player registration deadline has been set as 31 May with venue inspections to be done by 22 May. Compliance officers are set to be trained next weekend to ensure clubs are not in breach of Covid-19 protocols.
Tapela said they had managed to renew their sponsorship with Southland Engineering that will see the company pouring in US$5 000 this year, US$7000 next year and US$8 000 in 2022. Board member competitions, Sifiso Siziba told the gathering that they have planned to complete the league in December, a move that will result in a congested fixture list as they do not want the competition to spillover to next year.
Tapela told the clubs that they should be prepared to pay for referees and Covid-19 tests expenses despite Zifa having indicated they will bear the expense, but clubs insisted the governing body should live up to its promises.