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Chikwata bounce back to Division One

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2024 at 10:00hrs | Views
FORMER topflight teams, Zimbabwe Saints and Bulawayo City will be among clubs that will participate in the Zifa Southern Region Division One league this year.

Zimbabwe Saints who were chucked out of the same league last year for failure to pay affiliation fees among other costs, have been re-admitted into the league after they paid up their debt from last season and part of this season's affiliation fee.

The region has also accepted ex-PSL side, Bulawayo City to rejoin the league.

Bulawayo City last played in the Premier Soccer League in the 2022 season and were relegated after a dismal campaign and opted to play Division Two and had an academy concept in mind.

The league is expected to start on 21 April. The league has given teams up to Tuesday to pay affiliation fees before they release the fixtures this coming week.

The affiliation fee is pegged at US$1 500 for returning teams and US$2 500 for new teams.

The region has also brought on board Rugare Medical, who are set to sponsor the Division One Monthly and End of Year Awards, for players and match officials.

Rugare Medical is an organisation dedicated to providing essential health, medical aid renal unit and social care services across Zimbabwe.

The sponsorship was announced at the region's Annual General Meeting (AGM), in the city yesterday.

Andile Ndlovu, the Rugare Medical Bulawayo branch manager said the sponsorship is part of their social corporate responsibility.

"The whole idea is for us to help build local teams. We will be engaging the region's leadership, to hear some of their other needs because if we don't build the game of football for ourselves in Bulawayo, no one will," said Ndlovu.

Zifa Southern Region chairperson, Lloyd Munhanga said they are expecting to announce another sponsorship with an engineering company soon.

"We are pleased to have Rugare Medical and we are in talks with another engineering company, who are also interested in partnering us.

The past season, was a very tough one with most of the teams failing to meet their obligations, this is despite a reprieve in affiliation fees. Some teams promoted from Division Two failed to affiliate.

The season took off nonetheless and progressed well, especially in the earlier stanza albeit on the benefit of cheap funds from our excess local cash savings availed to teams in  meeting referees' fees," said Munhanga.

"The second half of the season, however, with depleted resources in our coffers, we witnessed the fall of many teams, as they failed to meet referees' fees and were subsequently expelled from the league. Teams that were affected are eMakhandeni Pirates,

Mountain Climbers and Zimbabwe Saints. Only two incidents of violence were witnessed and the perpetrators punished accordingly.

Outside these incidents the league went through an exciting period with several teams fighting for the championship, which was eventually won by Arenel."

Source - The Sunday News