Chaotic start to ERSL Energy Park tourney

12 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Chaotic start to ERSL Energy Park tourney ZIFA Eastern Region Division One Soccer League administrator Fungai Munyoro-Chingaira

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

 

IF anyone wants evidence to show that wisdom associated with men from the east started and ended in the Biblical era — then they do not need to look further than the Eastern Region Soccer League (ERSL).

Just as the dust is settling in the aftermath of a chaotic end to their 2023 season, the league’s 2024 ERSL Energy Park Super Eight Memorial Cup opening tournament was plunged into disarray as some teams boycotted the competition.

ZIFA ERSL unveiled the Energy Park Super 8 Memorial Cup after securing a US$20 000 sponsorship deal with a local fuel distribution giant, Energy Park for an eight-team knock-out tournament that started last Saturday.

 

The top seven teams from last season namely — Tenax, Masvingo United, Rusitu Tigers, Buffaloes, FC Wangu Mazodze, Mutare City Rovers, FC Hunters, and St Paul Musami — were set to participate in the tournament.

 

But as things stand, the Eastern region football administration failed to have all the eight teams participating in the competition after FC Wangu Mazodze and Masvingo United failed to turn up.

 

Both teams are based in Masvingo, the same city which ironically houses the ERSL administration.

FC Wangu Mazodze chairperson, Trevour Chateuka said the Masvingo-based outfit did not get an official invitation to participate in the tournament. In a Press statement titled: “We are not part of the so-called Energy Park Super 8 Memorial Cup.”

 

Chateuka had this to say: “It has reached our attention via social media platforms and other informal communications that our team will participate in the tournament referred.

“As Zhalala Zhululu (FC Wangu Mazodze), we are not participating in this tournament, and we do not have any connection with the sponsors in whatever way. The Eastern Region Soccer League has not written to us about this tournament and to us this is a scam by some unscrupulous people who want to take advantage of our brand for personal gains and aggrandisement, hence our legal team is on high alert to deal with this mischief.

“We have no relationship, and neither do we know anything about the so-called sponsors. We are affiliated with the Eastern Region Soccer League to play for promotion, and such remains our singular goal. In the event that we are formally invited to participate in any tournaments, we will communicate accordingly.

“At this stage, we are geared for the 2024 soccer season, guided by the resolutions of our just-ended Annual General Meeting as Zhalala Zhululu,” it reads in part.

Contacted for comment, ERSL administrator, Fungai Munyoro-Chingaira said: “I am yet to find out from the teams why they did not take part.” Information gleaned by Post Sport also indicated that both Masvingo United and FC Wangu Mazodze did not want to travel, but to host the tournament opening matches at Mucheke Stadium in Masvingo.

However, of the four teams that took part in the tournament – Tenax were beaten by Rusitu by a solitary goal, while Mutare City Rovers lost to league newcomers, St Paul Musami by a similar scoreline.

The Eastern Region Division One League season gets underway this weekend with a number of matches lined up for different venues across the region.

 

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