Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FOLLOWING total silence from Zifa on how local football should deal with issues of expiring player contracts during the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the Premier Soccer League has decided to engage the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) and World Leagues Forum for guidance on the way forward.
FUZ is a players’ representative body, while the World Leagues Forum has a membership of 42, representing over 1 100 clubs.
Zimbabwe is one of six African countries alongside Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Algeria that are members of the World Leagues Forum.
Germany, England, Argentina, France, Italy and Spain are some of the powerful leagues that are also members of the World Leagues Forum.
The mission of the World Leagues Forum focuses on issues such as football governance, rules of the game, integrity of the game, international schedule, including the availability of players within the context of international competitions, relationships between clubs and their players, and in particular employment relations, the regulation of transfers as well as regulation of agents and intermediaries.
The local Premiership was set to begin in March, but the outbreak of coronavirus that has had a devastating global effect saw football grounding to a halt despite clubs having entered into contracts with their players, some of whose agreements expired at the end of June.
That has left clubs in a dilemma despite the fact that players, whose contracts have run out and those with contracts still running, remained on clubs’ monthly payrolls even without any games being played.
Fifa then came up with its own recommendations which it said member associations can adopt to meet their own local situations, but Zifa has remained mum on a Zimbabwean solution.
It is for this reason that the PSL has since approached FUZ and the World Leagues Forum.
“We have received enquiries from some clubs on how expired or expiring player contracts are to be handled. It was our hope that the national association (Zifa), would come up with a clear policy position. Since there have been no clear guidelines from the FA, we have engaged the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe to discuss a win-win situation. We have further engaged the World Leagues Forum to give us guidance,” wrote PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele in a letter to clubs dated July 29.