Zimbabwe Rugby Union (ZRU) president Aaron Jani has questioned the delay by the Midlands province to kick start the regional league after getting the nod from government to resume.
Jani visited the province and met the provincial board, as a part of his national tour to assess progress by regional leagues to resume competitions and to map the way forward on the resumption of the game countrywide.
The government lifted suspension of sport after easing Covid-19 restrictions put in place to mitigate against the spread of the virus.
As part of conditions for the resumption of matches, all players and officials should be tested for Covid-19 before every game and spectators will not be allowed at venues.
Jani said other provinces were fully geared to start competitive games in their respective leagues.
He wasn’t impressed by the Midlands province’s lack of preparedness when all permission was granted.
“Why haven’t you started playing rugby when you have the players, the teams and the facilities? In other provinces they’re preparing to start their leagues,” said Jani.
The Midlands’ mini-league has four teams consisting of two Midlands State University sides from the Gweru and Zvishavane campuses, Airforce of Zimbabwe and Gweru Select.
Jani pledged financial support for the Midlands provincial board for preparations for the mini-league.
The provincial board cited lack of funds for its unpreparedness.
Chairperson of the provincial board Zwelonke Mloiswa said they need funding to cover travelling and other expenses for teams and officials.
“The teams are ready to play, but we have no funds. We need money to cover our costs for little things like paying officials and teams to fulfill fixtures. Lack of funding will push everyone away and demotivate them,” said Mloiswa.
Resumption of provincial leagues will boost the pool of players for selectors to assemble a competitive senior men’s national team for qualifiers for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.