The year 2020 will go down as one of the most depressing for local football players and fans, amid indications that ZIFA sold the nation a dummy on the mini-league

Nhau Correspondent
Despite the announcement of plans to hold a mini-league before year-end, reality on the ground is that individual Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs have given up and are now having their own plans, Nhau can reveal.

Some clubs are seeking clearances to play friendly matches while a number are preparing for tours around the country just to keep their players active.

The mini-league idea was the brain-child of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation together with the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC), but with the two having clashed with ZIFA on other matters, the non-existence of the mini-league is the worst kept secret.

The SRC board is out guns blazing against the ever-blundering football association, a situation that looks set to involve FIFA, and a possible suspension of the country from all football matters.

“You do not need a rocket scientist to tell you that the mini-league was just an idea far from reality,” a club official that requested anonymity told Nhau.

“Yes, it pushed ZIFA into a corner to try and bring back local football, but with the association now in confrontation with SRC, it is as good as dead.”
To make things worse, ZIFA last week gave PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele a seven-day ultimatum to respond to accusations that he is working against the association.

ZIFA asked Ndebele to distance himself from newspaper articles that seemed to attack ZIFA and hold a press conference to that effect or to confirm the statements and explain.

Inside sources indicate that Ndebele has not met the ultimatum demands.
“There has not been a press conference held. And what is clear is that Ndebele is a PSL worker who gets his instructions from the PSL board of governors and operates in the best interests of the clubs.

“So he will wait to hear from his bosses. The clubs had their issues as far as the disbursement of FIFA Covid-19 relief funds were concerned. So for ZIFA to then nail him, it makes no sense,” said one PSL governor.

It is against that background that the PSL is unlikely to commit to working with ZIFA on any tournament in the short term. The result has been that the Covid-19 relief funds, which were too little, have been used by some clubs for the welfare of the players.

Nhau Sport understands that most clubs will break training for Christmas and then resume with tours and friendly matches. Some clubs have already applied to have friendly matches cleared.

“It was always going to be difficult for the parties to work together and ensure there is football at a time when ZIFA showed they were not eager to fully pass on Covid-19 relief funds for the restart and use some of their usual grants for that as well.”

Meanwhile, ZIFA have since released a press release confirming they received what they call illegal suspension of their CEO, saying they believe there “are and still no justification of this intervention”.

The mini-league is off, but the SRC, ZIFA clash is on. Nhau/Indaba

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