Supersport deal delays PSL kick-off

Kenny Ndebele

Kenny Ndebele

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
SOCCER fans would have to wait a little longer before they can watch their favourite teams in action in the Castle Lager Premiership as league fathers are still working on the broadcasting programme with SuperSport.

The PSL board was expected to confirm the start of the new season at their annual meeting which was scheduled for yesterday but the meeting was postponed due to a congested programme at the weekend which included the Zifa indaba and FC Platinum’s Caf Confederations Cup match against Kenyan side Sofapaka at Mandava.

PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele said the AGM will now be held this coming weekend.

“We postponed the meeting to Saturday 7 March because of the Zifa meeting which was on Saturday and the FC Platinum match so some of the club representatives were tied up.

“The meeting would now be held this Saturday (March 7) in Harare.”

The Premier Soccer League had set March 7 as the provisional date for the 2015 season to get underway.

But Ndebele said the teams may have to wait a little bit longer as the television schedule is not yet in place. Last week, PSL released the fixtures for this season. The annual meeting which was expected to have been held yesterday was also expected to confirm the provisional date of March 7 for the start of the season.

But the PSL chief executive Ndebele said the governors were not going to confirm the start of the season as the delay is technical and has got to do with matches being screened on the pay-per-view channel SuperSport 9.

“We are still working on the broadcast programme so once we have that in place we will confirm the dates when the league can start.

“Even if the AGM is held this weekend it can’t confirm when the season will start as that can only be done once the broadcasting programme been finalised,” said Ndebele.

This coming Sunday at Rufaro, the final of the pre-season Bob 91 Super Cup pitting Dynamos and CAPS United will be staged to warm the stage for the new season.

These two teams have already played in another pre-season match — Sino-Zim Challenge Cup — at the same venue.

Indications are that the league may now start towards the end of March or at beginning of next month. Last year, the league kicked-off on April 5.

However, it is the busy calendar, which also has many international assignments, which may put a strain on fixtures and force most of the matches to midweek.

There are the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, which will begin in June, while the World Cup qualifiers will start in October and would be accommodated by the domestic league.

Before that, the road to 2017 Afcon starts in June, the local based players are expected to have featured in the Cosafa tournament which would be played in South Africa from May 17 to 31.

But for Zimbabwe, who have reached a new low, to be part of the regional jamboree in North West province, they would have to begin from the group stages.

Zimbabwe have been drawn in the same group with Seychelles, Namibia and Tanzania. And the winner would then meet Zambia in the quarter-finals.

The national Under-23 team is also expected to feature in the African Championships, All-Africa Games and the Olympic Games qualifiers.

Zifa, who are rebuilding the senior national team, have said the Young Warriors would be involved in most of the assignments meant for the senior team who in the past have let down the nation. All these competitions are expected to be in sync with the top-flight league as the bulk of the players to feature in these tournaments are drawn from the local league. The Premier Soccer League season is still expected to end on November 30 to allow the clubs which would be participating in the African Safari time to acquire players and register them before the Caf December 15 registration deadline.

Ndebele had also indicated that this season they would want a two-week break for the clubs should their schedule allow that.