Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
KENNY Mubaiwa says the Premiership clubs should consider withdrawing the relegation and promotion case they have filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
The DeMbare president, who is also a member of the Premier Soccer League Emergency Committee, yesterday said the bickering between the PSL and Zifa could end up costing the local game this season in terms of resources and time.
Mubaiwa said the league should accept the latest resolution by the Zifa Assembly at the weekend “for the sake of progress.”
The Zifa Assembly, which torched a storm last year when they announced that four teams would be relegated with just two games remaining, convened again on Saturday and endorsed the decision by the executive committee to demote two and promote four clubs this season.
However, the case is still pending at CAS.
Mubaiwa said the clubs present at the meeting did not contest the motion when it was raised.
“There was one agenda and when the motion was put forward it was seconded. There were no objections to it, hence it was carried unanimously,” he said.
“Personally, I think this issue was beginning to divide the clubs. Some still wanted to pursue it but there is a general feeling that it is becoming too costly to the clubs, which are already struggling to make ends meet under the current economic environment.
“We paid $5 000 and only last week CAS requested another $17 000. Mind you these are just deposits and the costs are likely to increase as we continue to pursue this case.
“It doesn’t sound okay because we would rather use that money on something else that benefits the clubs than on endless fights with Zifa.
“So we have to call a meeting as clubs and find ways that we should withdraw that case from CAS. Of course, mistakes were done but what we would want to see is football moving forward.
“We can choose to keep fighting Zifa over this matter but we don’t know when this issue will be determined by CAS. All what it means is that our football will be stagnant.”
The Premier Soccer League approached the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November to intervene and help resolve its dispute after the association had ruled that four teams be demoted at the end of 2016 while the same number be promoted for 2017.
The weekend resolution meant that the league will have to accommodate 18 teams this year which also means the PSL, whose sponsorship with Delta Beverages has expired and needs to be renegotiated, will need to make adjustments when negotiating for new packages.
Mubaiwa, who also chairs the PSL Technical and Development Committee, said the leaders should focus their energies on preparations for the new season while the outstanding matters have to be considered during the course of the year.
“We are already in January and the league only starts in April. What we should be talking about at this moment is the issue of preparing the fixtures and competitions for the year.
“For the sake of progress let’s move on with what was resolved at the weekend.
“Of course, we might disagree but we didn’t have to contest the Zifa resolution on Saturday. The mistake which led to all this was done but we have to move on.
“Hopefully, by 2018 everything will have been sorted out,” said Mubaiwa.