By Faindani Phiri
Automatic qualification of regional teams into the Super League games this year will be rejected to enhance the quality of football expected to be displayed, the Zimbabwe Woman Soccer League Executive Committee said at an annual general meeting.
The introduction of regional play offs will screen and select the best teams, which shall take part in the 2019 Woman Super League season expected to commence soon.
Women Football Administrator, Theresa Maguraushe said dissemination of the information to teams about this new initiative has already been made with ZRP Gweru Queens remaining the only vibrant competing team in Midlands region.
“We have already sent out word to teams in the Midlands region of the new changes in the league. There is only one team in the province which is ZRP Queens since other teams were relegated ZRP Queens with immediate effect commenced strong preparations after receiving a letter from League Executive Committee.
“The four regions shall participate in play offs and ZRP Gweru Queens is invited to play with the other three,” she said.
Maguraushe added that, participating teams shall contribute to referee and ground costs.
“Please note that the Zimbabwe Women Super League shall meet the referees and ground hire costs. Each region or club shall meet the rest of the costs,” reads part of the letter to clubs
Central Region Chairperson Felistas Tongogara said the regional play offs come as a shock to most teams as this instant change of things enhances match fixing and bias thus contradicting the rules of football.
“This issue is not right, it should have been mentioned at the commencement of regional games that the team that will come first at regional level shall compete with other teams that came first at each respective region, they have opted to hold the games in Harare, problems of favouritism and match fixing is likely to affect us,” Tongogara said.
Woman soccer has lost momentum over the years in the Central region due to the fact that most matches and meetings are held in the Eastern Region were many teams are based, Tongogara added.
“We have female players in Midlands and we have supporters, people are aware that women soccer exists but because crucial soccer ceremonies and events are held mostly in Harare this has affected the popularity of sport,” she said.
In promoting women soccer Central Region plans to host an Award Ceremony in recognition of deserving female footballers who made a mark for themselves in the previous regional games soon after the play offs in March.
Regional teams expected to turn up at play offs matches including the 2018 Super League Champions Black Rhinos from Southern Region and other teams that won regional competitions in Central Region, Eastern Region, and Northern Region.