CHIPINGE-The ZIFA Eastern Region Division One (D1) league resumes on Saturday after two years of inactivity owing to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Although the league is in motion, its life might be cut short by the impending fourth wave.
The league’s vice chairperson Wisdom Simba told The Mirror that eight matches are lined up for Saturday and Sunday. He also said that 16 teams have registered for the league.
Eastern region comprises of Manicaland, Mashonaland East and Masvingo provinces.
“We are very excited with the return of Division One football. It is indeed a promising season especially coming back after two years. Our league is going to be so competitive and our clubs are ready to go. As a region we are ready for kick-off,” said Simba.
The former Buffaloes FC defender said only fully vaccinated fans are allowed in the grounds.
Simba added that clubs are finishing up on affiliation.
“We are at an advanced stage and clubs are finishing up on affiliation. The affiliation fee for new clubs is USD $1 500 or equivalent and for old clubs it’s USD $1300 or equivalent.
“We have identified a number of grounds to use and these include Mucheke(Masvingo), Maramba (Renco Mine),Chishamiso (Chiredzi), Greenfuel Arena(Chisumbanje),Sakubva Stadium (Mutare) and Vengere stadium in Rusape,” he said.
Two rounds of games will be played before the league takes a Christmas break.
Four new rookies namely JM Busha 54 from Murehwa, FC Wangu Madzore from Ngundu, Manica Diamonds Juniors and returnees Nzuma Bar(both from Mutare) were welcomed from Division Two.
Other teams that will take part include Melfort, Chiredzi Stars, Mutare City Rovers,Zaka Academy, Surrey FC,Lowveld United,Ruwa Progroup,Greenfuels, Renco Mine, Masvingo United, Buffaloes and Graham.
Mashonaland East has six teams while Manicaland and Masvingo are on five each.
The league also co-opted two board members former Surrey FC secretary general Mollen Makumbe and former Mutare City Rovers executive member Benjamin Chindima as board members.
Pro Melfort vs Chiredzi Stars
Mutare City Rovers vs Zaka Academy
Greenfield vs Manica Diamonds Juniors
Lowveld vs Ruwa Pro Group
Graham vs Buffaloes
Masvingo United vs Wangu Mazodze https://masvingomirror.com