Lower division soccer leagues have denounced the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) proposals for a national division league saying it is a breach of the association’s Constitution.
In a statement early this month, ZIFA announced that it had resolved to embark on a national division league in line with the association’s constitution.
In a letter responding to ZIFA, the leagues through their chairpersons said they expected the Executive Committee to strictly uphold the constitution and allow for the due process to take place.
“As the leadership of the Regional Leagues and in consultation with our respective clubs, we note with concern the apparent breach of the ZIFA constitution in the manner in which you seek to admit the National League, as a member. We wish to bring to your attention that, the admission of a member is a preserve of the Congress, and such decision cannot be passed by the Executive Committee.
“For the avoidance of doubt Article 10, merely provides for the membership of a National League, once it has been established. The said article must never be read to imply that it is a requirement, but merely a provision, and whose establishment must clearly follow the strict laid down guidelines, as provided for in Article 9. Given the foregoing it is very clear that the Executive Committee is acting outside its remit without any due cause.
“The Regions as members of the Congress categorically wishes to put it on record that we do not condone flagrant disregard of our constitution, and want to affirm that we expect the Executive Committee to strictly uphold the constitution and allow for the due process in so far as the admission of a member is concerned,” read the letter
The leagues said the creation of the national league will have an impact on contractual obligations among other issues on the teams.
“The creation and admission of the National League has a huge bearing on the current structures which have served our football well, and the continued existence of these lower leagues must be of paramount importance to the leadership. There can never be any logical reason why we may want to rupture all contractual obligations which teams in the lower leagues may have entered into, be it with their players or sponsors.
“We have teams which have signed players on the basis that they will be playing Division One Football. Teams which have signed up with sponsors and drawn up budgets for regional division one football, all this and so many other social factors have to be evaluated, for the good of our game. All this catastrophe can be avoided by simply giving due notice to all clubs at the commencement of this season ahead, and defer this noble idea to next year, and in the meantime allow for the necessary preparations. In conclusion, we wish to put it on record that we are fully behind the admission of the National League as a member, only in strict adherence to the provisions of our constitution and backed with sound planning,” said the leagues
The letter was signed by the four chairpersons who include Patrick Hill (Central Region), Davison Muchena (Eastern Region), Sweeney Mushonga (Northen Region) and Andrew Tapela (southern Region)