By Wellington Toni
NEW Premier Soccer League chairman Farai Jere has a job on his hands
as he bids to unite a fractured league and mend relations with the
mother body, ZIFA.
Jere, the majority shareholder at Caps United, won the elections on
Saturday after beating Triangle chairman Lovemore Matinkinyidze 9-7.
Two clubs, Herentals and ZPC Kariba did not vote as their delegates
arrived late for the process.
Chicken Inn boss Lifa Ncube is the vice chairman after he was elected
unopposed, making sure the power matrix remained equal between Harare
Early indications are that Jere basically represents the interests of
Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa, who is bidding for total control of
football and the national association’s affiliates in addition to
posts at Cosafa and the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Chiyangwa, who is seek re-election in December’s Zifa elections, is
already the president of Cosafa and a member of the influential Caf
Total Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee.
Only last week at the Cosafa AGM, Chiyangwa was elected to replace
ex-Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya after the
later’s ban from football, on the CAF Executive Committee by the Fifa
Jere admitted much after his victory that there were differences
brought about by the election and urged all parties to focus on the
bigger job of transforming the PSL.
“We cannot live in the past, we are forward-looking people and we know
the problem with trying to live in the past is you will be unable to
implement your programme and time is very important,” he said.
Fissures between Jere and the PSL secretariat reportedly arose before
the elections when he is said to have visited the league’s offices in
Hillside, Harare in the company of Chiyangwa, leading to reports that
he was just the Zifa boss’ pawn.
“He visited the offices before the elections and we wonder what his
mission really was. But some of us are informed that he wants, at the
insistence of Chiyangwa, to overhaul the entire secretariat.
“The main target is the chief executive (Kenny Ndebele). He wants him
replaced by Cuthbert Chitima,” sources close to the power brokers at
the PSL told this website.
Chitima is the current chief executive of Caps United.
Chiyangwa and Matikinyidze had a tiff over the league’s insistence
that the PSL can only accommodate 16 teams while Zifa wanted 18. The
PSL had proposed play-offs while Zifa were eager to have four teams
demoted and four promoted from the Northen, Southern, Eastern and
Eventually, through the secretariat headed by Ndebele, the PSL had the
matter take to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) before it was
withdrawn and the league expanded to the current 18 teams.
Jere has pledged to close the gap with Zifa.
“Chiyangwa is going to come in because I have already spoken to him
and I know what we want to do so by working together, we can actually
achieve a lot.
“The constitution has always been the one which caused all the
strained relations between ZIFA and PSL but that document is made by
men so what we are going to do is to make sure that we align it. We
don’t want a situation where we have unnecessary misunderstandings,”
Jere was quoted as saying.
To effectively amend the constitution, Jere needs support from all the
clubs so that eventually every club benefits rather than a few.
The league only major sponsor, Delta Beverages through their Castle
Lager brand, who also sponsor the Chibuku Super Cup, while Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) are their broadcast partners.