By Trevor Makonyonga
The Northern Region Soccer League (NRSL) has begun preparations for the resumption of football after another halt caused by the second lockdown announced by the government early this year.
In a communique gleaned by Bustop TV, the league chairperson, Martin Kweza, urged all clubs to be ready as soccer action might resume soon.
“It is my hope that this time around approval will be granted by government for our beloved football to resume. This is because the statistics for Covid 19 in the country are currently showing a downward trend which is a positive sign for football lovers. We must keep praying that the reduced statistics will continue for the good of our players and families.
“According to the proposal by ZIFA, the safe return to football shall be staggered starting with PSL and the Regions joining a month later. If the approval is granted as we expect, there is very little time to prepare. Therefore, I am reaching out to you so that you start the administrative work now,” he said.
He urged clubs to prepare their grounds, player contracts and medical protocols.
“This season our Country was fortunate enough to receive plenty of rains. This may have affected the conditions of some of our stadiums. May you all ensure that your grounds are in good playable condition in preparation for the safe return of football. My board will be visiting your grounds to assess their readiness and conditions even before the FIB people start their assessments. Each Club must ensure that they have an alternative ground. We want to be sure we are ready to resume football.”
On player contracts and medical protocols the NRSL boss said, “May you ensure that the contracts for your players are all in order and ready for
registration once we are given the greenlight. Upon receiving the greenlight, our office will immediately request that you submit your Club’s papers for registration.
“I will share with you the protocols on safe resumption of football so that as Clubs you quickly work on issues of compliance. As a Region we always lead and others follow, I would not expect us to be found wanting for lack of compliance. What we can do and put in place now, let us hit the ground running and create an environment that is safe for our players and officials.”
He also gave updates on the part of the leadership regarding sponsorships which he said stood from last year with others having potential sponsors being engaged.
On monthly awards he said that the partnership with Unilongview Pvt Ltd stood. On Top Goal Scorer of the month and year he said that an agreement was signed last year and that they would soon avail the sponsorship before the start of the season. As for the Goalkeeper of the month and year the chairman said that sponsorship was secured again last season and an agreement is in place and will also be unveiled once the return of football has been approved.
As for the Player of the month, Knock Out Tournament and NRSL Junior League, Kweza said that they were still in negotiations with potential sponsors.
Kweza also said that he was waiting on ZIFA to fulfil their commitment on the payment of match officials.
“In the last ZIFA AGM held last December, the ZIFA Executive committee, made a commitment to pay for match officials and testing of players this coming season. I keep hoping that the commitment will be fulfilled since all clubs have been financial affected by the C19 pandemic. I shall keep you informed on any developments with regards to these two issues,” said Kweza.