Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Premier Soccer League side, Tsholotsho, have withdrawn their participation in the Zifa Southern Region Division One League due to financial constraints.
Tsholotsho spent three seasons in the topflight league before being relegated at the end of the 2017 season.
They have now disbanded their first team and club chief executive officer Mlamuli Phiri said the club will concentrate on juniors, who compete in the Tsholotsho District Football Association (Tshodifa).
“It’s true we are no longer in the First Division and we will not even compete in Division Two because of financial issues. We don’t have money to continue; we shall be back when we gather our strength. Focus will be on the junior team that is still participating in Tshodifa,” said Phiri.
Tsholotsho, who were runners-up to Hwange in the 2018 Southern Region Division One, join Zim Leopards, who pulled out of the league also citing financial challenges.
Zifa Southern Region board spokesperson Mehluli Thebe said they are still waiting for Tsholotsho to “officially” notify them about the withdrawal.
However, the Southern Region Division One had already released fixtures for the season without Tsholotsho, a clear indication that they knew the former Premiership side, who also lost coach Joseph Sibindi to Bulawayo Chiefs, were out of the league.
Meanwhile, only seven teams have paid their affiliation fees, with most expected to pay before the March 23 deadline.
Affiliation fees for newly promoted clubs are pegged at $2 500, while old teams, including those that were relegated from the Premiership, pay $2 000.
This excludes players and technical team registration fees.
The registration for each player is $20, meaning $500 for a squad of 25 players and $250 for five technical team members.
Four teams that were promoted into the First Division, Ajax Hotspurs and Arenel Movers from Bulawayo as well as Nengasha Stars and Binga Pirates from Zifa Matabeleland North Division Two.