The Eastern Region title circus plays on

02 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
The Eastern Region title circus plays on PRAYER FOR PROMOTION . . . Mutare-based Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) outfit, Tenax FC, is hoping for a positive outcome to its plea to be awarded Premiership promotion

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

THE decision on which team will be promoted from the Eastern Region Division One League into the country’s top-flight league is far from being reached after the ZIFA Appeals Committee adjourned Tuesday’s hearing to February 16.

A three-member tribunal — with Vote Muza as chairman — sitting in the name of ZIFA Appeals Committee, invited Tenax FC, Bikita Minerals and Eastern Region Soccer League’s administration for Tuesday’s hearing.

The hearing was initially set for last week on Tuesday, but was postponed to this Tuesday because the ZIFA Appeals Committee felt the need for all parties involved to be conversant with Tenax FC’s heads of arguments and also respond in writing before a proper hearing could be conducted.

This led to the postponement of the matter to February 16.

The development is likely to derail plans for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League to start the 2024 season on February 17.

Plans were that the 2024 football season will commence with a clash between Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars in the Castle Challenge Cup on February 17 at Baobab Stadium.

Following this, the Premier Soccer League was set to kick-off on February 24, a week later, to avoid fixtures congestion.

However, after the inconsistent Normalisation Committee backtracked on its earlier decision to unilaterally endorse the Eastern Region board’s decision to promote Bikita Minerals, it is now back to square one and the Appeals Committee’s decision, whenever it will come out, will now determine the start of the season.

In an earlier interview with Post Sport, Normalisation Committee member, Sikhumbuzo Ndebele appeared to confirm Bikita Minerals as the Eastern Region champions.

“An official ending to this saga will be announced by the region itself. We cannot comment on a judgement by a lower organ which is legally correct. They followed the guidelines that were signed by the affiliates at the start of the season.

“Whatever happened in the way Eastern Region handled that case was above board. No one can appeal against those guidelines at the end of the season. The good part about that case is that the guidelines were agreed upon at the start of the season. The complainants in this case have to have material evidence, not emotions. The Eastern Region was very correct and there is nothing amiss,” said Ndebele.

But on Sunday, the nation woke up to the news that Bikita Minerals might have to wait a little bit longer to confirm their Premier Soccer League status after ZIFA Normalisation Committee referred the dispute surrounding their promotion to the top-flight to its Appeals Committee.

To that end, the Normalisation Committee put on hold the decision to confirm Bikita Minerals as the 2023 Eastern Region Soccer League (ERSL) Division One champions.

Bikita Minerals have been conspicuous by their absence at the PSL 2024 induction workshop in Bulawayo.

The ERSL, acting on their own understanding of their rules and regulations, had concluded that Bikita had won the championship race after the club won its appeal over their final league match against Grayham, from which they were awarded three points.

Those points enabled Bikita to pip Tenax for the pole position.

However, Tenax lodged a late appeal via ZIFA, which, through its chief executive officer, Yvonne Manwa, wrote to the ERSL to attend the Appeals Committee hearing this week.

“The Zimbabwe Football Association is in receipt of your letter dated January 21, 2024, and hereby acknowledges its contents. The letters from Tenax Football Club appear to clearly confirm that they are complaining against the Eastern Region Soccer League.

“It is in accordance with both substantive and procedural justice that they present their case against a party that they have a grievance with. You are therefore advised that the meeting will go as planned and you will cater for your travelling expenses,” wrote Manwa.

 

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