By Clayton Shereni
EASTERN Region Soccer League (ERSL) side Grayham football club (FC) has approached the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) national Normalization Committee seeking reprieve over ‘unfair’ treatment by the regional board, Centre News can reveal.
The club that was scheduled to play against Mutare City Rovers at home two weeks ago, alleges that they were notified that they couldn’t fulfill the fixture on the eve of the match through a WhatsApp chat message by the ERSL vice chairperson, Wisdom Simba.
Club owner Gray Hama, says they went on to make a ZWL$10 800 000 payment into the ERSL bank account on July 26, 2023.
However, Hama claims that despite showing Simba proof of payment on July 29, he was told that they were not allowed to fulfill an away match to Rusitu Tigers because the payment had not reflected in the receiving account.
Furthermore, three points and three goals were also awarded to Rusitu Tigers bringing the total points lost through walkovers to six.
In a letter dated August 1, 2023, sent to Zifa, Grayham through their lawyer Joel Mambare of J. Mambara and Partners, pleaded with the football mother body to intervene and bring sanity to the saga.
“Our club is appealing against the cancellation of the two fixtures and is praying that these two matches be rescheduled. There is no justification for this drastic, irregular, and uncalled-for action taken by ERSL against our client and we pray for your timely intervention,” reads the letter.
The club further stated that the ERSL leadership is putting the name of football into disrepute at a time the country is doing everything to sanitize the local football arena.
“Zimbabwe is smarting from the recently uplifted FIFA ban and we can’t afford to sit and let our football image be put into disrepute for greedy reasons. There are many ways of making sure that affiliation fees are paid instead of prejudicing a football team and its players in the manner that ERSL is doing. Football is a beautiful game lets maintain its beauty,” further reads the letter.
However, ERSL vice chairperson Wisdom Simba told this publication that Hama made a payment this week on Tuesday that why his club was being barred from playing these past two games.
“At first he (Hama) claimed that they made a payment last week on July 26 but we didn’t receive the payment only received it this week on Tuesday (the day before yesterday). This week they will play because we received their payment on Tuesday,” said Simba.
Hama is reportedly eyeing a post on the ERSL board and believes he is being victimized for demanding transparency and accountability as well as challenging the current ERSL leadership.
The Lincoln Mutasa led Zifa normalization committee is working on bringing sanity to local football and started by appointing a new referees committee led by Norman Matemera which is expected to address the plight of football referees in the country.