Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE quality of competition in the Southern Region Division One League is likely to be compromised following indications that newly promoted Moto Moto have advised Zifa of their inability to compete in the league.
Army bankrolled Moto Moto become the second team to pull out of the Southern Region Division One League within a month citing financial challenges.
Sources within the First Division said Moto Moto informed Zifa Southern Region that they don’t have the capacity to compete in the First Division ahead of the Easter Holidays kick-off where they were supposed to face Victoria Falls Tigers.
“They informed the Zifa Southern leadership last week that they can’t be in the league because of lack of resources. Because they are an army side, Zifa Southern Region advised them to think through the matter and gave them up to this weekend to decide if they really want to withdraw. I think the Zifa Southern Region leadership is trying to save face and avoid losing another team as that might affect competition,” said the source.
Last season ZRP Hwange withdrew from the Southern Region Division One League before the start of the second half of the season and Victoria Falls Tigers struggled to fulfil some of their matches in the last half of the season.
Musa Mandaza, the Zifa Southern Region chairman, said they have asked Moto Moto to formalise their exit.
“We’ve asked their officials to put it (withdrawal) in writing. We can’t rely on hearsay or phone calls and as soon as we receive their letter, which we expect by tomorrow, we will tell you the way forward,” said Mandaza.
On the standard of competition in his league going down, Mandaza said: “It depends how you look at it and we choose to be positive. Few teams enhance the quality of competition in terms of management and even standard of play because all the players in the region will want to play in those clubs. This means a player is kept on his toes knowing that those from defunct clubs are waiting to pounce on an opportunity.”
Meanwhile, ZPC Hwange tops the league table after the first round of matches following a walk over of ZRP Bulawayo Province on a 3-0 score line, with Bulawayo Chiefs second courtesy of a 2-0 win over Bosso 90.
Other teams that registered wins during the Easter Holidays are Mosi Rovers, who beat new boys Chiwororo 2-1 at White City Stadium, and Indlovu Iyanyathela, who edged Zim Leopards 1-0.