Zimbabwe suspend fixtures as tension rises over elections

Zimbabwean football fans cheer on their team Aaron Ufumeli/EPA

The Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League has suspended matchday 21 fixtures which were scheduled for this weekend amid tension in the country over disputed parliamentary and presidential elections.

Six people died on Wednesday following violent clashes between supporters of the opposition MDC Alliance party and security forces on the streets of Harare.

The local football authorities had expected to resume action on Saturday after taking time off last weekend to pave the way for the national elections, held on Monday. There has, however, been a change of heart after Wednesday's disturbances.

The PSL secretariat has released a statement late informing stakeholders of the development.

There was no indication of when action would resume, with the PSL only saying it will "advice on the rescheduled dates in due notice". The statement added that "there would be no further comments on this matter."

Political tension has risen sharply following the release of hotly-disputed election results this week.

The ruling Zanu PF party registered a landslide victory in the national assembly elections, while President Emmerson Munangagwa also defeated opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to retain his position.

Munangagwa won 50.8 percent of the vote to Chamisa's 44.3 percent to avoid a run-off, but the opposition has rejected the outcome, alleging massive vote rigging.