The Zimbabwean league is the only one in the world that runs from March to November. PSL fixtures secretary Beadle Musa Gwasira said they are now going to adopt the August to May programme that has been a success in all the other countries affiliated to FIFA.
Gwasira said they had decided to change their seasonal set up because Zimbabwean football was lagging way behind because it was not in tandem with the other countries who were benefiting from projects initiated by both FIFA and CAF.
Although the change of season was tried before and failed in 1998, because of the poor drainage system in stadiums throughout the country, Gwasira said they had put in place measures to make sure that the problems of the past will not manifest themselves once again.
In 1998, under the leadership of Morrison Sifelani and Chris Sibanda, the league had to revert to the old March to November programme after most of the matches were abandoned because of poor water drainage while others failed to take place due to heavy rain.
Clubs also suffered huge losses due to low crowd attendances as the stands were not covered forcing the fans to stay away in case of heavy rain.
Gwasira said that was all in the past. They were talking to city authorities about the financial spin offs that would come with improving their stadiums. He said so far the response had been vcery encouraging.
Ironically both the PSL and ZIFA had failed to convince the city authorities to reduce the heavy 20 percent they deduct from gross gate takings for every match.
Gwasira said the journey had already started and they had designed their season in a way that it would break in December.
While the decision by the PSL has been well received, they are some people who are sceptical of the move. Critics said weather patterns and poor stadiums in Zimbabwe would be impediments. They also said they believed that it would not be easy to convince city authorities to invest in football when their own workers were not being paid.
North Korea Fears Soccer Players May Seek Asylum In South Africa
Harare, April 28, 2010 – The North Korea national football team will train in Zimbabwe before heading to South Africa for this year’s World Cup in June because the country fears players and officials could desert camp and seek asylum in South Africa.
Zimbabwean government sources said there were strong fears some players and officials from North Korea could take advantage of their stay in South Africa to break free and seek asylum.
North Korea is notorious for denying its citizens basic freedoms and citizens from this reclusive country have a record of defecting and seeking asylum once they step on foreign soil, especially of countries that enjoy democracy and freedom.
Sources this week said Pyongyang was comfortable with security arrangements in Zimbabwe which they felt could make it impossible for players or officials to escape.
“Look, it is very easy for the North Korean players to break away from camp and seek asylum is South Africa than it is here in Zimbabwe,” said an official from the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art and Culture.