THE Premier Soccer League was last night plunged into a leadership crisis following ZIFA’s move to suspend the top-flight body’s chairman Peter Dube as the relegation- promotion dispute between the mother body and the elite league took an ugly turn.ZIFA also slapped a ban on Highlanders chief executive Ndumiso Gumede for allegedly rebelling against the executive committee and trying to have the board dissolved.
Dube, who succeeded Twine Phiri at the helm of the PSL is also the Highlanders chairman.
But the PSL and Bosso leader became the first casualty of the madness that has characterised the relegation saga that remains unresolved to date with uncertainty hovering over the number of teams that will be demoted at the end of this season
The suspensions are with immediate effect.
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa in announcing the suspensions said a statement last night that both Dube and Gumede had separately violated section of the ZIFA constitution through alleged acts of misconduct.
The decisions were made at a ZIFA board meeting held on Sunday.
Chiyangwa said Dube would face ZIFA disciplinary action while on suspension from all football activities under the association’s auspices.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has provisionally suspended Peter Dube and disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against the Premier Soccer League Chairman following his inappropriate conduct during a ZIFA congress on 29 October 2016.
“Dube is charged for contravening Article 1.15 of Schedule 11 of the ZIFA Rules and Regulations.
“On the 29th of October 2106, Dube unlawfully interrupted formal proceedings during a ZIFA congress and he further attempted to incite chaos by urging Premier Soccer League clubs’ representatives to denounce lawfully made resolutions.
“Dube violated ZIFA regulations by failing to restrain himself during the PSL promotion/relegation conundrum and he also attended the meeting as a representative of Highlanders Football Club while he is a ZIFA Executive Committee member,’’ read part of the statement.
ZIFA also wrote to Dube yesterday advising him of the decision they had made.
“Reference is made to the decision of the executive committee on the 13th of November where it was resolved that in terms of Article 34(n) of the ZIFA constitution you are forthwith provisionally suspended from participating in association football in Zimbabwe under whatever role or capacity subject the confirmation of your suspension by the ZIFA congress in terms of the ZIFA constitution’’.
The fall out between ZIFA and the PSL has been simmering since the October 29 association’s annual meeting in Harare where the councillors made a U-turn and resolved that four teams instead of two would be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the 2016 season.
ZIFA and the PSL had last year resolved that only two teams would go down from the top-flight at the end of the season with the winners of the respective regional Division One Leagues having to secure promotion via play-offs.
But some differences arose between the association and its flagship affiliate and as matters came to a head during that heated assembly meeting, Dube as the head of the PSL fought in the corner of his member clubs.
So heated was the debate on the relegation and promotion that the matter had t be decided by a vote with the regions prevailing over the 16 clubs.
There are fears that the row between ZIFA and the PSL could have serious ramifications on the national game.
“Further note that in terms of Article 34 (n) of the ZIFA constitution you are forthwith suspended from participating in any role or position, exercise any rights and functions in Zimbabwean football with immediate effect. The reasons for your provisional dismissal are as follows:
“You have seriously violated Article 35 (3) of the ZIFA constitution in that on the 29th of October 2016 during Congress proceedings you failed to withdraw from the Premier Soccer League (“PSL”) promotion/relegation debate as a member of ZIFA’s Executive Committee as there was a real risk/ possibility of conflict of interest due to your position as Chairman of the PSL.
“Further you have violated Article 21 (5) of the ZIFA Constitution by attending and participating at the ZIFA Congress meeting of the 29th of October 2016 as a delegate of Highlanders Football Club when ZIFA Executive Committee members are expressly prohibited from being appointed delegates.
“You have shown absolute disdain and disregard of the ZIFA constitution in your conduct which intransigently violates Article 2 (e) and Article 7 of the ZIFA constitution.
“Accordingly, you have provisionally ceased to be a member of the football community globally and therefore you must therefore forthwith cease to act, represent and associate yourself with ZIFA or any of its members in any manner whatsoever. Be advised that any misrepresentation of a purported association with ZIFA will obviously attract further disciplinary action,’’ read the letter sent to Dube.
Veteran administrator Gumede who in his long spell in the administrative corridors of the domestic game has served as ZIFA secretary-general and vice president has been purged for his alleged role in a bid by some disgruntled members to try and overturn the current board.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has forthwith provisionally suspended Ndumiso Gumede from any role, position or status in association football in Zimbabwe.
“The ZIFA Executive Committee resolved that in terms of Article 34 (n) of the ZIFA constitution, Gumede has to immediately relinquish all associations with football related activities as a result of gross violations of the ZIFA constitution and undermining a constitutionally-elected leadership.
“Gumede wrote a letter to the world football governing body (FIFA) peddling falsehoods about a legitimate football leadership, seeking to dissolve a constitutionally-elected Executive Committee.
“Gumede further sought to destabilise smooth football administration by establishing a bogus parallel structure which operated as a ‘ZIFA Working Committee’ in a foiled attempt to seize control of association football from ZIFA.
“In that vein, Gumede ceases to be a member of the global football family since he is now barred from representing or associating himself with ZIFA or any of its members,’’ Chiyangwa said.
Just like they did with Dube, ZIFA also wrote to Gumede yesterday advising him of his ban.
“You have seriously violated the ZIFA constitution by authoring a detailed, baseless letter to FIFA full of falsehoods and unfounded allegations against elected football leaders in Zimbabwe where you sought to cause unjustifiable dissolution of the duly elected executive committee’’. herald