Sunday World (South Africa)

SA SOCCER FAMILIES IN BITTER DISPUTE

Power struggle at Ajax CT goes to arbitratio­n

- MARC STRYDOM

A FAMILY feud in the South African football fraternity goes before an arbitrator this week and it has split Premier Soccer League club Ajax Cape Town down the middle.

At the heart of it is a long-simmering power struggle between the Comitis brothers – John and George – and the three Efstathiou brothers, Ari, Alex and Nick.

Ari is related to the Comitises through his marriage to a Comitis sister and the two families have been in business together for 23 years.

The arbitratio­n is between Cape Town Stars (Pty) Ltd, which holds 49% of Ajax Cape Town, and Ajax Amsterdam, who own 51%.

The dispute, which dates back to September 2010, centres on a R3,5m payout Comitis received from the PSL.

The matter erupted last May when John Comitis was appointed honorary life chairman of the Urban Warriors by Rik van den Boog, outgoing CEO of Ajax Amsterdam.

The arbitratio­n hearing starts on Thursday and is expected to rule on the shareholde­rs’ agreement between the two Cape Town families.

John Comitis has accused Ari Efstathiou of conducting a witch-hunt against him.

Ari says the matter is all about good corporate governance.

He said Cape Town Stars also disputed Comitis’s life chairmansh­ip because Ajax Amsterdam had assigned it (the chairmansh­ip) unilateral­ly without the approval of the Ajax Cape Town board and Stars.

Ajax Amsterdam acting CEO Henri van der Aat said Comitis’s appointmen­t as life chairman was for “his long-time achievemen­t at the club”.

 ?? Picture by Gallo Images ?? IT’S MINE: George Comitis and John Comitis, whose appointmen­t as Ajax Cape Town lifetime chairman has caused a bitter feud with the Efstathiou brothers.
Picture by Gallo Images IT’S MINE: George Comitis and John Comitis, whose appointmen­t as Ajax Cape Town lifetime chairman has caused a bitter feud with the Efstathiou brothers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa