28 October 2006

ZIMBABWE : League to Start On Low Note

THE Harare Basketball Association League is finally going to start this weekend albeit on a low note as less than half the clubs have paid the annual affiliation fees, writes Paul Munyuki.

Eighteen teams -- six men's A League teams, four B League teams and eight women's teams - have managed to pay the affiliation fees of $12 000 per team for the 2006/7 season.

This has forced the HBA to fixture only the teams that have paid the affiliation and player registration fees.

The men's teams include Varsity Leopards, Golden Spurs, UZ Stars, CBZ (formerly Jewels), Highdon Raiderz, Kingdom Cavaliers SCB Stormers and City Wolves.

The B League teams that have met the HBA requirements are newboys Chitungwiza Blades, Panthers, Drifters and Roderick Takawira's Sigauke.

But the women's teams have shown more dedication for the game as eight of the 10 teams have paid up their affiliation fees and sent in their player registration forms.

Varsity Leopards, newcomers Stanbic Mavericks, SCB Stormers, UZ Stars, Chitungwiza Blades, Panthers, Real Retainers, and Highdon Raiderz have paid up as well.

HBA administrator Simon Lawson said the games will have to go on this weekend though there are few teams that will take part.

"The league was originally set to have started but because the teams had not submitted their affiliation fees and player registration fees the games were delayed.

"But we can not keep on postponing the resumption of the league and that is the reason why at the moment we decided to fixture the teams that have paid their dues.

"As for now the teams that have not yet paid will not play until we convene a council meeting.

"The executive is scheduled to meet tonight (last night) and they will decide when to hold the meeting," said Lawson.

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