This follows Masvingo United’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Monomotapa which also coincided with Shabanie Mine’s unexpected 2-0 win over Highlanders at Maglas Stadium.
Masvingo United needed at least a point against Monomotapa to survive relegation but goals from Rusell Madamombe and Joseph Mutambiranwa sealed their fate and also guaranteed Monomotapa’s survival in the Premiership under caretaker coach Nkululeko Dhlamini. Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro is in Botswana attending a Fifa coaching course.
Masvingo United and Shabanie Mine both ended on 34 points but the asbestos miners retain their place in the Premiership because of a superior goal difference. Shabanie scored two more goals than Masvingo United.
Ironically, Shabanie Mine is under the coaching guidance of Luke Masomere who started the season at Masvingo before moving to their neighbours.
When contacted on his feeling about Masvingo United’s departure from the Premiership, Masomere said it was saddening that the team was going to play lower division football adding that it was a big blow to the team’s passionate fans. Although he is now at Shabanie, Masomere has been and in and out of Masvingo United on several occasions.
Masvingo United now join Kiglon, Zimbabwe Saints, and Shooting Stars among the teams that have been relegated. Taking over their places are northern region champions Harare City, southern region title holders Quelaton, and Zimbabwe national Army side Buffaloes who have been promoted from the Eastern Region.
The Central region’s championship is under dispute after Hardbody were docked 46 points for alleged match fixing and for using player, Tatenda Chingara, without an international clearance. The team has, however, appealed against that Zifa disciplinary committee decision.
Before the judgement, the Gweru based bus company sponsored team were three points ahead of second placed Tripple B and had booked a place in the 2012 Castle Lager Premiership.