By Don Makanyanga
Ngezi Platinum Stars have distanced themselves from any wrongdoing in their much-talked about tour of South Africa.
The Mhondoro-based team are currently on the last leg of the two-week tour; a trip which has since been deemed illegal by the Premier Soccer league.
According to the PSL, the club faces expulsion from the league (PSL); if found guilty of contravening the league’s Rules and Regulations, after the team embarked on what the local governing body has classified as an “unsanctioned” foreign trip.
This comes after the side failed get clearance; a charge Ngezi has since refuted.
“We are in talks with the PSL, but we got clearance from SRC,” said Ngezi Platinum Stars chairman Jeremiah Gasiteni.
PSL wrote to Ngezi platinum Stars on February 22 informing the club that the League was not in a position to clear the trip to South Africa due to a short notice
“We acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 20 February 2019 and advise that we are not in a position to clear the proposed tour to South Africa on a short notice,” read the letter to Ngezi platinum Stars.
Despite the league having not cleared Ngezi platinum Stars, the team left the country on February 24, a development which could be seen as a clear defiance of the PSL Regulations and Order Number 26.3 which reads; “Any team invited to play any friendly or invitational matches outside Zimbabwe shall make a written request to the League one month before the proposed dates of departure.
“The League may grant or refuse such application, or grant the same subject to any such conditions as deemed fit.
In addition,ZIFA shall have the right of ratifying any such decision or reject,” reads the clause.
A breach of the order could see a team being expelled from the league as clearly spelt out in PSL Regulations and Order which also reads “26.4 A breach of any of the above conditions shall be deemed a serious offence rendering the offending party or team liable to expulsion from the League.”
Premier Soccer League spokesperson Kudzai Bare said the league will only issue a statement when the team returns from its two week camp in the coming days
“We are looking into the matter, and will issue a statement once the team returns,” said Bare
On the same day that PSL turned down the proposed tour to South Africa, the SRC cleared the Mhondoro-based side overriding the decision by the league as stated in the PSL Regulations and Order.
“The Sports and Recreation Commission has cleared the Ngezi Platinum Stars Delegation (29 athletes and 10 officials) to travel to Rustenburg, South Africa and attend a training Camp scheduled for February 26-10 March 2019.
“Please note that you will be required to produce a report after the tour and submit to SRC as previously guided,” reads a letter written to the local football governing board by the Sports and Recreation Commission.
Despite staring at possible sanctions, Ngezi Platinum Stars continue to feign their innocence over the alleged violations, and have already played a practice match against Bidvest FC in which they went down 1-4.
Ngezi round up the tour with a match against SuperSport FC tomorrow. Sunday Mail.