INLINE Academy and New Orleans are out of this season’s unsponsored Zimbabwe Women’s Football League as they failed to meet the affiliation deadline after citing a number of issues that they needed clarified by the league’s executive.
Both teams, based in Bulawayo, did not register for the league as they had indicated to the league’s executive they needed clarification on the issue of affiliation fees, league format, sponsorship and referees’ fees, among other issues.
Inline team manager Takundwa Chimundiya said they were still to discuss the way forward as a club since the deadline for affiliation had passed.
The league is expected to kick off this weekend and 11 clubs have already affiliated and these are Mufakose Queens, Cyclone Stars, Borrow Jets Ladies, Tenax Queens, Conduit Soccer Academy, Chipembere Queens, Black Rhinos Queens, Hwange Colliery Ladies, Faith Drive Queens, ZRP Harare Province and Auckland Queens.
He said as far as they were concerned there were still outstanding issues that needed to be clarified before it could kick off.
“We indicated to the executive that there were issues that need clarification before we could pay our affiliation fees. We wanted to know the format of the league especially since there is no sponsor and also find the cheapest way of playing. We said that since the league has no sponsor, there is no reason why we should say it is the Premier League. We could divide the league into two zones, with the Northern Region playing the Eastern Region while the Southern Region competes with the Central Region while they look for a sponsor for next season,” he said.
Chimundiya said the league could prove expensive for them if it remained unsponsored as they had to pay close to $5 000 in affiliation and referees’ fees. He said they had to pay $15 per player, $50 per official, $250 per match for referees and $400 for the affiliation fees.
“This means that we would have to pay $1 100 in affiliation fees, close to $3 900 for the match officials and the players would be travelling — they need food, accommodation and allowances, but if there is no sponsor we will struggle. It happened in 2011 and we struggled forcing us to travel at night and booking one room for the players and the officials sleeping in the vehicle they would have travelled in. That is why the league ended prematurely because of financial problems,” Chimundiya said.
“We have to map the way forward as a club. We supported these people into office and we have no idea why they are doing this. We told them that we need to find the cheapest way to run the league, but then we heard that there were some clubs that affiliated.”
New Orleans chairman Tichaona Chikoho echoed the same sentiments saying they were failing to understand how the affiliation fees were being paid.
“We would have wanted to play, but the way these people are communicating is pathetic. We also do not understand the way that the affiliation fees are being paid.
“Some clubs are paying $300 while some pay $2 500. We were made to understand that we have to pay $400 for affiliation and about $550 for registration of players and officials but it is different now,” Chikoho said.
The New Orleans’ boss said they had put the affiliation issue behind them and they have to meet as a club and discuss their future plans.