ZIFA’s proposal to have a National First Division this year has faced resistance after all Division One regions blocked the attempts to form the league.
ZIFA had proposed to form the national division, which would feed the Castle Lager Premiership.
The Gift Banda led-executive resolved that the league would be made up of top four teams from the four regions – Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern – and the four relegated from the top-flight last season.
The existing regional leagues would then continue as third-tier leagues, feeding the national league in a promotion-relegation system.
However, the regions through their respective chairpersons have rejected the plans, arguing that the ZIFA executive committee does not have the constitutional powers to make such a decision outside the ZIFA Congress.
“As the leadership of the Regional Leagues and in consultation with our respective clubs, we note with concern the apparent breach of the ZIFA constitution in the manner in which you seek to admit the National League as a member,” read part of the letter, as cited by the NewsDay.
“Article 9.1 of the ZIFA constitution states that the Congress shall decide whether to admit, suspend or expel a Member, whereas Article 9.2 goes further to state that, the admission may be granted if the applicant fulfills the requirements of ZIFA, such requirements are as enunciated in Article 10(3).
“We wish to bring to your attention that the admission of a member is a preserve of the Congress, and such a decision cannot be passed by the Executive Committee. For avoidance of doubt Article 10, merely provides for the membership of a National League once it has been established. The said article must never be read to imply that it is a requirement, but merely a provision whose establishment must follow the strict laid down guidelines as provided for in Article 9.”
The letter continued: “There can never be any logical reason why we may want to rupture all contractual obligations which teams in the lower leagues may have entered into, be it with players or sponsors. We have teams that signed players on the basis that they will be playing Division One Football. We had teams which have signed up with sponsors and drawn up budgets for regional division one football, all this and many more other factors have to be evaluated for the good of our game.”