BULAWAYO Chiefs were officially crowned Zifa Southern Region Division One 2013 champions at Dingumuzi Stadium in Plumtree after winning a dead rubber match against Hwange Juniors 1-0 on Saturday.
Surprise Ndlovu’s 38th minute goal was enough for Amakhosi to wind up the season with a victory although Chiefs won the league with two games before the end of the season.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze, vice-president Ndumiso Gumede, John Phiri, Zifa board member witnessed Chiefs being crowned champions.
Mashingaidze said the coming in of a Plumtree-based team in tothe top-flight league was a welcome development.
“Thank you Sibanda (Lovemore) for bringing football to Plumtree,” he said.
“People of Plumtree now have something in their hands to be proud of. We are now going to see teams like Caps United and Dynamos coming all the way from Harare to Plumtree to play football. This is good for our country to have top-flight league teams coming from all corners of the country.”
Zifa Southern region chairperson Morgan Dube congratulated Chiefs saying he hoped they would not go back to Division One.
“Congratulations to Chiefs who have made the town of Plumtree proud and we do hope you will stay in the PSL (Castle Premier Soccer League) for a long time. Do not just visit, but stay there and win pieces of silverware,” he said.
Sibanda was ecstatic saying the team had made him proud.
“I am happy because we have finally made our way to the PSL.
“To those who were present last year when we had our awards ceremony, you can testify that we have fulfilled our promise. We said next season (this season) we were going to win the championship and we have done that. The reason why we are here today is because we did proper planning,” he said.
Sibanda said they would start building the stadium in preparation for their maiden appearance in the PSL.
“This stadium (Dingumuzi) is not good for PSL matches. There is no proper parking. We also realised that the refurbishment of this stadium would cost almost the same amount as that of building a new stadium, so we have been given a piece of land where we would build our stadium starting from the first week of November.
“By March the stadium would be ready,” he added.
Plumtree residents are on cloud nine. One of them who identified himself as Mandisa Mpofu hailed Sibanda’s efforts of bringing PSL action to the border town.
“He did a great job. We want to thank him for that,” she said.
“There are people here with businesses who have a better income than his, but they never thought of such a noble idea.”
Obedingwa Mguni, the MP for Mangwe district, graced the occasion.