Sheasham saga continues# No communication … PSL waits for refs report Bata Stadium

Innocent Kurira and Ricky Zililo, Sports Reporters

THE Premier Soccer League (PSL) says they will await reports from the referee and match commissioner who were assigned to do duty at Mandava Stadium before taking action against Sheasham who failed to show up for their tie against Caps United on Sunday.

The newsboys stuck to their word not to fulfill the fixture in Zvishavane after their Bata Stadium that has outstanding items to be attended to, was suspended from hosting topflight games until all work has been completed.

On Sunday, Caps United waited for 45 minutes before they were dismissed by the match commissioner.

By not turning up, Sheasham breached among other sections of the PSL Rules and regulations; Order 18.1 and 18.2 which state: “Every club shall be obliged to honour every league fixture as directed by the League General Secretariat.”

The Gweru-based side cited financial constraints as the reason for not traveling.
PSL then offered the club US$2 000 which is part of the US$4 000 they had paid as deposit when they entered the league.

The US$2 000 was a cushion to assist them in meeting the costs for the game but still, Sheasham refused to travel.

On what action the league would take, PSL communications officer Kudzayi Bare said: “For now, we are waiting for reports from the commissioner and referee which is the first stage of how we handle such matters. We expect to have the reports by the end of the day today (yesterday). Once we have seen the reports we will then communicate the way forward.”

Bata Stadium was given the green light by the Zifa First Instance Body (FIB) to host league games and the side even hosted Highlanders in a match that ended nil all.

But barely a week later, the PSL Emergency Committee invoked Order 40.6 of their rules and regulations which reads; “The PSL Emergency Committee has power to make decisions on matters not provided for in the PSL or Zifa Statutes.”

Bata Stadium

The decision was allegedly taken after frantic efforts to get the official correspondence granting permission and stating the timelines for outstanding works at the facility was not available.

In the absence of written communication, the general understanding was that communication between the club and Zifa before the suspension of the Bata Stadium had been verbal.

The correspondence stating what needed to be done at Bata Stadium from Zifa which is in possession of the PSL was written on May 16 as a response to Sheasham’s concerns about having their facility “condemned” when the FIB had cleared it.

“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 15 May 2023 and concerns were fully noted. The Association also deeply understands the inconvenience caused to the club.

“Zifa has had discussions with the Premier Soccer League and in the interest of football and as a way forward, we humbly request that Sheasham Football Club use Mandava Stadium in Zvishavane for their next league match.

“The Association fully understands and appreciate the wonderful work done by your club. We implore the club to continue with the great work and also address the following outstanding issues:
(a) Clearing of debris
(b) Continuous maintenance of the turf (playing surface) (c) Equipping of doping control room
(d) Completion of terraces
(e) Use of quarry stones in the parking areas
(f) Use of non-slippery material on the tunnel pathway
(g) Complete sign posting of the faculty.

“As we await for your feedback, please dear Honourable Chairman accept our sincere and warmest regards,” wrote acting Zifa chief executive officer Xolisani Gwesela.

Xolisani Gwesela

Asked if there was prior communication to Sheasham granting them access to use the facility which includes a stadium certificate as well as indicating the outstanding works needed to be done at Bata Stadium, Gwesela said such information is only shared with the PSL who declined to comment.

The PSL referred questions to Zifa and Sheasham.

Efforts to get a comment from Sheasham chairman Reginald Chidawanyika were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered and did not respond to messages sent on Whatsapp.
— @innocentskizoe/@ZililoR

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