THE battle to contain the coronavirus has given the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and its main sponsor Delta Beverages a window to finalise the 2020 sponsorship package amid speculation that Herentals FC’s unresolved case is among the reasons for the delay in the unveiling of a new deal.
Herentals FC are currently embroiled in a legal battle with the PSL which reached crescendo when the Students were found guilty of match-fixing a league match involving Black Rhinos last season.
The club was docked three points and relegated from the PSL. The decision was later quashed by the ZIFA Appeals Committee who cited lack of evidence.
Herentals FC’s joy was short-lived after the PSL struck again a few days later, expelling Herentals from the topflight league for taking the dispute to court before it had reached the ZIFA Appeals Committee.
While noting that the Students had offered an apology and had not wasted the PSL’s time by pleading guilty at plea, the PSL expelled Herentals from the league.
Herentals have since appealed to the ZIFA Appeals Committee against the PSL decision to expel them from the league.
The Students in their submission to ZIFA accused the PSL of heavy handedness.
While the legal battle between the PSL and Herentals continues to play out, some have connected the silence over Delta Beverages sponsorship renewal to mean that Delta could be waiting for the storm to pass before committing or could be pushing for a certain outcome.
“That is the reason why by now Delta Beverages are still to commit to the renewal of their deal with PSL,” said a source.
“Herentals have been the sacrificial lamb but in all honesty most of the teams that survived relegation had points ‘donated’ to them as safer teams were helping them out.”
“There are a lot of questionable results of matches towards the end of the season but nothing was said about those. The league in itself is just rotten, there are a lot of underhand dealings,” the source added.
Herentals, however, maintain that their protracted legal battle with the PSL is as a result of individuals within the PSL who are out to see them booted out of the league.
“The suggestion of Delta having any involvement is absurd. If anything its individuals within the PSL who are hell-bent on taking us out at all costs,” said a Herentals official who declined to be named.