Premier League games to go ahead

PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare said the games will go as planned while they await official communication from Zifa on the Eastern Region case.

THE Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) will kick off this weekend despite the delay in the proclamation of the promoted team in the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League.

The Zifa disciplinary committee on Monday found the Zifa Eastern Region Soccer League (ERSL) board guilty of failing to properly handle the issue between Bikita Minerals and Tenax.

They were also found guilty of contravening football statutes in the way they deliberated on the matter with the prosecutor in the case calling for Tenax to be declared the champions.

PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare said the games will go as planned while they await official communication from Zifa on the Eastern Region case.

“We have to wait for official communication from Zifa. As long as the winner in the Eastern Region league is not declared, their matches will be postponed,” Bare said yesterday.

The Eastern Region board declared Bikita Minerals the winner in what the Zifa disciplinary committee said was a “kangaroo” court that had no jurisdiction to deal with the matter.

In one of the matches that decided the league outcome last year, an illegible player was used in a match between Bikita Minerals and Grayham.

This did not amuse Tenax.

Tenax dragged the board to the Zifa normalisation committee and in its finding, chairman Vote Muza ordered the Eastern Region board to make submissions in mitigation not later than yesterday and prosecution to file in aggravation by tomorrow.

“In view of the findings made against the defendant, it is, hereby, called upon to make written submissions in mitigation by not later than Tuesday March 5, 2024. The prosecutor may, in turn, file its written submissions in aggravation by close of business on Wednesday the 7th of March 2024, after which the disciplinary committee will sit to deliberate on the appropriate penalty,” Muza said.

He added: “Having found ERSL guilty for failing to convene a disciplinary hearing in terms of rule 16 of their rules and regulations, the question to be posed is what becomes the status of the Bikita/Grayham dispute that was purportedly resolved in the bogus executive meeting of November 25, 2023? This executive meeting was not a disciplinary hearing. Its convening was not in conformity with any law. It only served to demonstrate that ERSL executives were on a frolic of their own. Their conduct renders everything consequent to their meeting void and of no force or effect.”

Muza said the decision to declare Bikita Minerals champions is null and void and their grievance against Grayham using an illegible player should be heard by a competent disciplinary committee.

“Prosecution’s prayer was for a judgment that Tenax Football Club be declared the champion of the ERSL. We do not believe that it is for this tribunal to take over the functions of the ESRL disciplinary committee, and most certainly not without sufficient facts before us regarding the acts of misconduct allegedly committed by Grayham FC. We would, however, venture to observe that in the absence of a challenge to the factual position that Grayham FC did field an ineligible player in the match against Bikita Minerals FC after a protest, then the effect of that would be to have that particular match awarded to Bikita Minerals FC on a three nil (3-0) aggregate,” Muza said.

He said that matter should be handled with the urgency it deserved.

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