RELEGATION tormented clubs can now heave a sigh of relief with news that the Premier Soccer League will at the end of the 2016 season axe only two teams.
In previous seasons four clubs sitting at the bottom of the 16-team Castle Lager Premier Soccer League were demoted back to Division One football.
Two top flight football teams anchoring the league table face the chop at the end of the season, according to PSL chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele.
a�?The resolution to relegate two teams instead of four at the end of the 2016 season was made at a Zifa assembly last year and we are sticking to that resolution. We want to bring stability into the league as you will appreciate that a huge number of teams that have been relegated in the past have gone defunct and that is surely not good for our football,a�? said Ndebele.
A new promotional playoffs format to determine the two Division One clubs that will replace the relegated PSL teams will be used at the end of the season.
a�?The four teams that will top their respective Division One regions will meet in promotional playoffs with the winners and runners up gaining promotion into the Premier Soccer League,a�? added Ndebele.
Division One football has four regions namely Eastern, Northern, Central and Southern regions.
But there is a catch!
The teams that finish first and second in the promotional playoffs must prove to the PSL that they are able to meet the minimum Fifa club licensing requirements.
The Fifa club licensing system requires clubs to commit to have a vibrant youth development programme, have safe, comfortable stadiums and training facilities.
It also requires that clubs must have qualified coaches, medical staff and professional, well-educated management as well as subjecting their finances to independent auditing.
a�?In the event that the winner and runners up of the promotional playoffs fail to prove to the PSL that they meet the Fifa club licensing requirements then we will be forced to consider the third and fourth placed teams,a�? he said.
As it stands now bottom placed Border Strikers and Tsholotsho FC are candidates for relegation although there are 19 games to go before the curtain closes on the 2016 season.