Lovemore Zigara in Gweru
THIRTEEN teams will take part in the Zifa Central Region Soccer League (CSL) this season after the region released fixtures over the weekend.
The figure is the lowest number of participating teams since the region was inaugurated in 2010.
The season is set to kick off at the end of this month and the reduced number of clubs comes despite the fact that the region has secured a sponsorship package to the tune of $45 000 from a local health service provider, Zimbabwe General Medical Aid Fund.
CSL chairman Stanley Chapeta said the sponsorship package will be unveiled at a hotel in Gweru on Friday.
“We have settled for a 13-team league and despite the fact that we have a reduced number of teams participating we are confident that all the clubs are committed to finishing the season without hassles. In the past we have had situations whereby clubs pull-out midway through the season.
“We are also going to be unveiling the sponsorship package to the clubs this Friday and everything has been set. We hope that the financial rewards that are coming with this will also spill onto the field of play,” said Chapeta.
Notable absentees in this year’s CSL league include Silo United and Makusha who failed to pay affiliation fees on time while Jena Mine and former Premiership side Border Strikers failed to affiliate on time.
Chapeta said he hopes all the clubs would have finished registration of players ahead of the season opener after most of the clubs had failed to adhere to the Fifa Club Licensing System.
The CSL season was expected to kick off on March 17 but the dates were moved after only three clubs, Whawha, Tongogara and FC Platinum Under-19 managed to submit their papers on time.