Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE race for promotion to the Premier Soccer League in the Zifa Southern Region Division 1 League will start on January 15, 2022.
The Central Soccer League season kicks-off on Saturday, while the Eastern Region will start on December 11.
Zifa Northern Region Division One started its league last week.
Fiso Siziba, Zifa Southern Region board member responsible for competitions said: “Our league programme is set to kick-off on 15 January 2022. We, however, have a pre-season knockout tournament that is due to start in a week’s time and run up to the end of the year. We are tying up loose ends with our prospective sponsor.”
Delay in the season kick-off has been caused by the region failing to conclude and confirm the total number of teams that will compete. It also lamented clubs’ delays in submitting Covid-19 tests results. The league is also yet to finish venue inspections.
“The issue of venue inspections has also been our undoing given that venues belonging to local authorities were not accessible as yet,” Siziba said.
Luveve Stadium, which hosts Premiership matches, White City Stadium, Crescent Sports Club in Parkview and HQ 1 Brigade, which is home to Indlovu Iyanyathela, are among facilities that will be used by Bulawayo-based clubs.
Colliery Stadium, Mpumalanga and ZPC Hwange’s facility will be used by Division One clubs in the coal mining town of Hwange, while Mosi Rovers will use Chinotimba in Victoria Falls if they regularise their status.
Binga United play their matches on the sandy Binga High School grounds.
Siziba could not be drawn into revealing the facilities they had inspected.
Meanwhile, the Southern Region is reportedly closing in on a prospective sponsor for a proposed pre-season knockout tournament to start in the second weekend of this month.
Siziba said they were hoping to host the traditional Liquor Hub John Landa Nkomo Top 8 Knockout Tournament during the mid-season, moving it from shutting down the season.
This has been done to create competition among clubs so that they fight to be in the top eight mid-way through the season to qualify for the event. – @ZililoR.