Sunday Times

Delu­sional de­fi­ance leads to de­struc­tive dock­ing of points

- Un­plugged by BBK Twit­ter: @bbkun­plugged99 AmaZulu F.C. · Court of Arbitration for Sport

● Let this be a stern warn­ing that ex­ploita­tion with­out com­pen­sa­tion shall not be tol­er­ated. Not now. Not ever.

Let this be a sa­lu­ta­tion to the South African Foot­ball Play­ers Union (Safpu) for fight­ing for the rights of a foot­baller and floor­ing the an­tag­o­nist.

Be­fore you blurt what is Black­bone go­ing on about, let me put this col­umn into con­text. The an­tag­o­nists are AmaZulu, the foot­ball club my un­cle Langa has such a strong al­legience to he would hap­pily give an arm and a leg in its de­fence. A few years back AmaZulu ter­mi­nated the con­tract of Phin­heas Nam­bandi.

Mind you, the agree­ment of em­ploy­ment be­tween the two par­ties still had three years to run. Three years!

Con­fronted by this ex­ploita­tion, Namib­ian na­tional Nam­bandi took the case of the wrong­ful ter­mi­na­tion of his con­tract to Safpu.

As the cham­pion of the rights of play­ers, the union en­gaged AmaZulu to pay Nam­bandi what was due to him. Their pleas fell on de­fi­antly deaf ears.

A year later, Safpu’s ef­forts con­tin­ued to fall on in­fer­tile ground. Usuthu were un­moved. Un­det­tered, Safpu brought the mat­ter to the at­ten­tion of world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body Fifa in 2016.

All Nam­bandi wanted was R300,000 to make ends meet. R300,000!

When the dis­pute reached the res­i­dents of the Zurich HQ, the Fifa dis­ci­plinary com­mit­tee found in favour of Nam­bandi in 2017.

The Dur­ban club was or­dered to pay “R1,086m as com­pen­sa­tion for breach of con­tract within 30 days from the date of no­ti­fi­ca­tion of the de­ci­sion, plus 5% in­ter­est per an­num, as from July 25

2014”. They were also or­dered to set­tle the bill in re­la­tion to costs and ex­penses in­curred in con­nec­tion with the ar­bi­tra­tion pro­ceed­ings.

AmaZulu, in their warped wis­dom, must have thought the rul­ing was a seg­ment from the Blacks Only Com­edy fi­esta. They laughed off the judg­ment.

In be­tween their dis­mis­sive smirks, Usuthu took the Fifa DC de­ci­sion, which was handed down on Au­gust 10, on ap­peal to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS). The joke is on them now that the fi­esta has be­come an ex­pen­sive fi­asco.

Feed­ing the stereo­type of Zulu peo­ple be­ing a strong-headed and stub­born lot, AmaZulu de­fied the de­ci­sion. This delu­sional de­fi­ance has led to a di­lap­i­dat­ing dock­ing of six points which has sunk Usuthu to tailenders sta­tus with only one point to show af­ter six matches.

When our jour­nal­ist Ti­isetso Malepa asked AmaZulu gen­eral man­ager Lunga Sokhela if he was not wor­ried at all that Fifa via Safa may just as well go ahead to en­force the CAS de­ci­sion, he gave the fol­low­ing re­sponse:

“We are well aware that Fifa might not want to hear any­thing af­ter this rul­ing, and they will prob­a­bly do that. But at the same time, that’s why we’ve got the courts. We are pro­tected by the law and by the courts. It’s a shame that Fifa has this men­tal­ity where they just don’t care about the laws of cer­tain coun­tries and think they are God. They want to be the supreme law of the world.

“In SA, we think our courts are more than ca­pa­ble of deal­ing with this is­sue. It will not be ac­cepted in SA that you have bod­ies like Fifa that just come here and rub­bish our laws and our con­sti­tu­tion.

It’s fi­nal and bind­ing in their minds. At the end of the day, we are in SA. You can’t just come here and do as you please. There is the law which has to be re­spected. Foot­ball matters don’t be­long in court? CAS and Fifa, and who­ever, have only got ju­ris­dic­tion over sport­ing bod­ies. We as Lyras­tar In­vest­ments don’t know Mr Nam­bandi . We’ve never had any deal­ing with the guy. The guy had deal­ings with AmaZulu Foot­ball Club Pty Ltd, which is a com­pany that is no longer in sport. So Fifa, CAS [and] what what can­not just dic­tate and can­not come to us and order us around. They have no ba­sis to come to us be­cause the own­ers are not the same.”

Lord have mercy.

AmaZulu thought the de­ci­sion was a seg­ment from the Blacks Only Com­edy fi­esta

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