FINANCIAL difficulties have crept into yet another Zifa Southern Region Division One club, new boys Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) who have been failing to fulfil fixtures of late after Zimbabwe Saints and Kabwe Warriors were expelled from the league for the same reasons due to lack of financial resources.
PPC, promoted from the Zifa Bulawayo Province Division Two League are the latest casualty to the financial scourge and could see themselves booted out of the league if a solution to the crisis is not found soon.
Last weekend, PPC failed to travel to Bulawayo for a match against Plumtree Chiefs and handed the Division One champions three points and on Saturday, their match against New West City at home had to be postponed after they wrote to Zifa seeking the deferment to sort out their issues.
Club secretary Rodrick Masina yesterday confirmed that all was not well at the club financially and they were engaging PPC Zimbabwe to bail them out, but they had been advised to sell the franchise as the company would not be bankrolling the club.
“It has been difficult for us. We had to write to Zifa last week and we were given two weeks to sort out our mess. Financially things are not good and we might end up pulling out of the league,” Masina said.
“The company has said they will not finance us in the competitive league and we have been advised to sell the franchise. We are running around and trying to engage the company to come to our rescue.”
PPC have played eight matches and won one game in the league with four defeats and three draws and no solution appears in sight, according to Masina. He said they have to pay $236 for referees for their home matches and $30 for the police, but could not give the budget for their away matches.
New clubs had to fork out $3 000 in affiliation fees to Zifa Southern Region compared to last year’s $2 200 and old clubs had to pay $2 500 compared to last season’s $1 800.
A comment on PPC’s situation was not immediately available yesterday from Zifa Southern Region chairman Musa Mandaza, whose mobile phone went unanswered. The league now has 14 teams following the expulsion of Zimbabwe Saints and Kabwe Warriors.
Meanwhile Ntabazinduna continued with their winning ways, opening a six-point lead when they beat Hwange Juniors 1-0 at home to land on 24 points with Plumtree Chiefs settling for a 2-2 draw against Black Boots in Fairbridge.
Chiefs are now on 18 points at par with ZPC Hwange who beat neighbours Mpumalanga 3-0 on Saturday while Tsholotsho FC salvaged a point in a 0-0 draw against Technosphere in Hwange to land on 17 points.
In another match, Elephant FC drew 0-0 with Trumus at HQ1 Brigade.