PSL’s Ajax mess con­tin­ues

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­ver.sibiya@city­press.co.za

It has been one hell of a week for the Premier Soc­cer League (PSL) ex­ec­u­tives with all the un­cer­tainty around Tendai Ndoro’s three-club sit­u­a­tion.

Ndoro played for three clubs this sea­son – Ajax Cape Town, Or­lando Pi­rates and Saudi Ara­bia out­fit Al Faisaly – and this has re­sulted in sev­eral court rul­ings in­volv­ing his lat­est club.

As things stand, Ajax should re­turn to po­si­tion 15 on the fi­nal PSL log as per the rul­ing of Judge Denise Fisher handed down on Mon­day at the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court.

This throws a span­ner in the works for Plat­inum Stars, who were awarded 15th place fol­low­ing ad­vo­cate Wil­liam Mokhari’s rul­ing that docked Ajax nine points for field­ing Ndoro who was deemed “in­el­i­gi­ble”.

But Fisher ruled that Mokhari had no ju­ris­dic­tion to dock Ajax points, and only the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa had such pow­ers.

Fifa rules state that a player can be reg­is­tered for three clubs in a sea­son, but could play only for two.

Ajax was Ndoro’s third club in a sin­gle sea­son af­ter Pi­rates and Al Faisaly.

Mokhari’s rul­ing saw Polok­wane City, Su­perS­port United and Plat­inum Stars given three points for the matches they played against Ajax, who fielded Ndoro.

Stars went on to play in the Na­tional First Divi­sion pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion three-way play-off with Black Leop­ards and Jomo Cos­mos. Leop­ards won the play-offs and were then pro­moted to the Absa Premier­ship.

On Mon­day, the PSL is­sued a terse state­ment read­ing, in part: “Fisher set aside ad­vo­cate Mokhari’s award, but de­clined to hand down the other re­lief sought. It is nec­es­sary for the league to prop­erly con­sider the mean­ing and ef­fect of the judg­ment be­fore mak­ing any fur­ther com­ment on the mat­ter.”

They called an ur­gent ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing on Thurs­day when they made a de­ci­sion to ap­peal the court judg­ment. They are set to con­vene a board of gov­er­nors on Thurs­day.

Spec­u­la­tion has been in overdrive since the lat­est rul­ing, with many look­ing at pos­si­ble so­lu­tions for the mess the PSL finds it­self in.

Some have sug­gested that the league should re­vert to the pre­vi­ous struc­ture of 18 clubs in­stead of the cur­rent 16.

League chair­per­son Irvin Khoza said this week the pos­si­bil­ity of an ex­panded league was not even dis­cussed at last Thurs­day’s meet­ing.

With the league sched­uled to start on Au­gust 3, time is run­ning out fast for the PSL to make a de­ci­sion.

If it chooses to re­play the play-offs (be­tween Leop­ards, Ajax and Jomo Cos­mos), it could again end up in a lengthy court bat­tle and that’s not some­thing it rel­ishes.

An­other ob­ser­va­tion has been that the board of gov­er­nors can­not make a de­ci­sion be­fore Fifa de­cides on the mat­ter.

Fifa’s rul­ing might not be fi­nal as any ag­grieved party would still have the right to take the mat­ter to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport, the body that is the fi­nal global ar­biter on all sport­sre­lated cases.

PHOTO: CHRIS RICCO / BACKPAGEPIX

CO­NUN­DRUM Tendai Ndoro’s sign­ing and play­ing for Ajax Cape Town as his third team in one sea­son has cre­ated a king-size headache for the PSL

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