Ndoro saga blights a good week

Sowetan - - Opinion -

South African foot­ball ex­pe­ri­enced the good, the bad and ugly in a mat­ter of few days this week.

In an un­prece­dented move, the fi­nal stand­ings of the Absa Pre­mier­ship was de­cided in the board­room, barely a week af­ter Mamelodi Sun­downs were of­fi­cially crowned cham­pi­ons.

The changes came af­ter the tri­bunal found Ajax Cape Town guilty of field­ing striker Tendai Ndoro in con­tra­ven­tion of Fifa reg­u­la­tions that pro­hibit play­ers from turn­ing out for more than two teams in the same cal­en­dar year.

It still bog­gles the mind though, why the Premier Soc­cer League is­sued Ndoro with a play­ing card in the first place.

Surely those in charge of player reg­is­tra­tions at PSL failed in their duty to ver­ify the player’s sta­tus, which could have averted the le­gal wran­gle that led to Ajax’s de­mo­tion and the re­in­state­ment of Plat­inum Stars in the pro­mo­tion/rel­e­ga­tion play­offs.

We agree with those who are calling for the PSL to do away with the play­offs and re­con­sider pro­mot­ing two first divi­sion teams, who in turn will swap places with the two bot­tom-placed Pre­mier­ship sides.

Amid all these, we feel for Ned­bank Cup fi­nal­ists Free State Stars and Mar­itzburg United.

Apart from be­ing over­shad­owed by the Ndoro saga, to­mor­row’s fi­nal also played sec­ond fid­dle to the hype of La Liga cham­pi­ons FC Barcelona be­ing in town for the Nelson Man­dela’s Cen­te­nary Chal­lenge against Sun­downs.

We also urge the fans to show the same love for Mar­itzburg and Stars at the Cape Town Sta­dium to­mor­row.

There are many les­sons that should be noted from the Downs Barca game on Wed­nes­day, the most sig­nif­i­cant be­ing the lo­gis­tics put in place at such short no­tice for a mid­week fix­ture that at­tracted a crowd of 80 000.

We hope the same en­thu­si­asm would be chan­neled into to­mor­row’s fi­nal, which also takes place at a Fifa World Cup sta­dium.

As for the Ndoro de­ba­cle, we hope that jus­tice pre­vails, lest the mat­ter do even more harm to the lo­cal game, be­set as it is with many other chal­lenges.

We hope it all won’t come back to bite the PSL, as spon­sors – we can imag­ine – wouldn’t want their names as­so­ci­ated with this kind of neg­a­tiv­ity. Our foot­ball does not need that ei­ther.

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