Lancashire Steels promotion protested

KWEKWE - The former Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Lancashire Steel FC's promotion from Division Two to Division One of the ZIFA Central Region has caused stir here as teams from both divisions citing unfairness.

Brian Chishanga, the Division Two Chairman, has been cited as the one who manipulated the move. Division Two in the Central Region is made up of two leagues, TwoAwith 15 teams from Midlands and TwoB with 15 from Matabeleland South.

The Chimbi Chimbi Boys ended up in position two of the Division Two A to miss promotion into Division A where only the top team is accommodated.

They went on to lose the play-offs after being dismissed by Shurugwi FC to kill all transparent ways of making it to the higher level of the competition. But still the Kwekwe-based side is now featuring in the Division One competition after teams were increased from 16 to 17, a move that is believed to have been maneuvered just to fit in Lancashire Steel.

“Chishanga is the one who is behind that and here in Matebeleland South we are not happy as we see it as marginalization of our region because if the executive felt it wanted to increase the league then one team from our region should have been called also,” a club official from Division TwoB said.

Other officials said Chishanga delayed Rutendo FC’s money to reflect in the ZIFA account so as to give the impression that one team in Division One had failed to pay affiliation fees thereby creating a vacancy which he then used to fit in Lancashire Steel FC, which had previously sold its franchise to Gokwe’s Mateta FC in 2009 claiming they were withdrawing from football.

When contacted for comment, Chishanga who was the head of delegation for Dynamos when the Harare giants traveled for a Champions League date in Algeria last April, said Lancashire Steel had been seconded into Division One on the basis of its financial capacity to participate in that league.

“We carried out a capacity test between Lancashire FC and Bvepfepfe from Mat South and it was Lancashire which won. So it proceeded into Division One on that basis because we felt we should increase the league,” he said.

He described complaints against him as malicious and vowed to sue anyone discovered to have made such complaints.

Kwekwe based Lancashire Steel FC have produced a handful of the country’s finest footballers in recent years.

Zimbabwe internationals Paul Gundani, Luke Petros and Petros Sibanda together with local players such as Brighton Tuwaya, Washington Arubi, Sam Mutenheri, Dick Moyana, Wellington Sibanda, Isaac Nyamvura, Costa Maradzike, Highway F.Cs Romeo Kabesha, George Magariro and Tafadzwa Dube, had the pride of wearing the maroon and white colors of the Chimbi Chimbi boys.

Lancashire Steel experienced a 14-year romance in the premier soccer league after gaining promotion into the top flight league before facing a tough season that led to their relegation in 2008.

Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News

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