2019 TNM Super League relegated sides Mlatho Mponela, Dwangwa United and disbanded Masters Security have failed to register with Central Region Football Association (CRFA) to be eligible to compete in the lower league this coming season.
CRFA Vice General Secretary, Antonio Manda, said the trio failed to beat registration deadline which was Saturday last week.
“This is very disappointing because we expected them to be part of us after being relegated from the top flight league. We have been in touch with them but it seems they are not ready to play,” he said.
However, Manda said the three clubs have requested CRFA to consider granting them grace period to check if they can play in the lower league.
“We have been told that they want to discuss whether they will be able to play in the league in the forth-coming season. As CRFA we will meet on Wednesday to discuss if it is possible to give them grace period,” said Manda.
Mlatho owner Gracious Chikoma admitted not to have registered with CRFA Premier Division as they were waiting for their sponsor Mlatho Technologies to give its consent.
“I have to admit that we are not sure if we will play or not. Last year, we had a committee which was working jointly with our sponsor but up to now, they are yet to commit continued support. We pleaded with CRFA to give us grace period but we haven’t been answered yet,” he said.
Chikoma said they were consulting CRFA if it was possible to loan out their [Mlatho] slot in the Premier Division to bounce back next year.
Last week, Masters Security owner Alfred Gangata admitted that it would be difficult to play in the lower division as their sponsor, Masters Group of Companies, announced that it had stopped supporting sporting activities.
Similarly, Gangata said the team had asked CRFA officials to keep their slot until they were ready to bounce back.
“I think the right time will come when I will be able to comment on our next plan,” Gangata said.
Efforts to talk to Dwangwa Chairperson Samson Zimba proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
The 2020 Chipiku CRFA Premier Division season was expected to start on March 21 but the season was suspended due to Coronavirus pandemic.