PSL sweat­ing on its court ap­peal against Tendai Ndoro rul­ing

Sunday Times - - Sport Soccer - By SAZI HADEBE [email protected]­soblack­

● De­lay­ing the start of the 2018/2019 sea­son, even by a sin­gle day, will cause ir­repara­ble dam­age to a sea­son which threat­ens to have one of the most con­gested fix­ture lists in the his­tory of the Pre­mier Soc­cer League.

The re­al­ity of that could well be the rea­son PSL chair­man Irvin Khoza looked so drained and stressed this week while he was clar­i­fy­ing the league’s next move on the Tendai Ndoro saga, which threat­ens the start of the league in 14 days’ time.

On top of Khoza’s mind was the need to as­sure all the league’s stake­hold­ers, espe­cially the spon­sors, that play will start as sched­uled on Au­gust 4.

So far the spon­sors have not come out to voice their opin­ion on the shenani­gans at the PSL, but Khoza didn’t miss a chance to as­sure them of their de­ci­sions this week.

“We’ve got a re­spon­si­bil­ity to­wards our spon­sors and stake­hold­ers. If we don’t give them cer­tainty they can di­vert their in­vest­ment,” said Khoza.

“We must re­mem­ber that Caf (the Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball) have con­gested fix­tures of their own as they are go­ing into a new cy­cle in their club com­pe­ti­tions and there’s Af­con com­ing up (in June).

“So there are so many things that are com­pet­ing.

“That is why we bet­ter deal with this mat­ter de­ci­sively.

“Lead­er­ship dic­tates that we must act, pro­vide lead­er­ship and cer­tainty be­cause if we don’t, we can’t plan.

“The spon­sors must plan and they are not wait­ing for our whims and emo­tions.”

Khoza said they would fight the Ndoro chal­lenge on two fronts.

Firstly, the PSL filed pa­pers to ap­peal against Judge Denise Fisher’s rul­ing which set aside Ad­vo­cate Wil­liam Mokhari’s de­ci­sion which rel­e­gated Ajax to the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion af­ter they were docked points for field­ing their for­mer striker Ndoro dur­ing the past sea­son.

“We need to start at the court first be­cause it is also how it ham­strung us (PSL) in so far as tak­ing de­ci­sions on mat­ters af­fect­ing the league on a daily ba­sis,” said Khoza.

“If we go with this (Fisher’s) judg­ment it doesn’t help us go­ing into the fu­ture in terms of the in­ter­pre­ta­tion. That’s why we want to clar­ify the in­ter­pre­ta­tion so we know what we can do and what we can’t do with the judg­ment on the ta­ble.”

Ac­cord­ing to Khoza, the PSL also in­tends go­ing to the Fifa Player Sta­tus Com­mit­tee, through Safa, if their ap­peal is not suc­cess­ful or not speed­ily dealt with in SA courts.

“What­ever hap­pens the games will be start­ing on Au­gust 4,” said Khoza.

When asked about those who might chal­lenge their de­ci­sion to start the sea­son with the Ndoro mat­ter not yet fi­nalised, he said: “The laws of ifs have never been won, so we’ll wait for it (chal­lenge) at the ap­pro­pri­ate time. But for now we are go­ing ahead.”

Ahead the of PSL’s Board of Gov­er­nors meet­ing on Thurs­day, Ajax CEO Ari Ef­s­tathiou had threat­ened to de­rail the start of the sea­son if the PSL went ahead with their ap­peal and start the league as sched­uled.

Ajax had in­ter­preted Judge Fisher’s de­ci­sion as mean­ing they are back in the 15th po­si­tion of the PSL log and they there­fore qual­ify to con­test the rel­e­ga­tion/pro­mo­tion play­offs.

But since Khoza’s pro­nounce­ment that the league will start as sched­uled, Ef­s­tathiou has been mum about his club’s next move.

There were talks also this week of Ajax pos­si­bly buy­ing the cash-strapped Bloem­fontein Celtic’s sta­tus in or­der to re­main in the PSL, but Ef­s­tathiou quashed that, say­ing the rules of the PSL wouldn’t al­low them to do that even if they wanted to.

It emerged later in the week that Celtic might ac­tu­ally go back to their pre­vi­ous own­ers, the Au­gosti brothers, Jimmy and Ikie.

The Au­gostis sold Phunya Sele Sele to the cur­rent owner, Max Tsha­bal­ala, for about R50-mil­lion four years ago.

PSL chair­man Irvin Khoza.

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