JOHANNESBURG, July 12 – Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Dr Irvin Khoza says that despite the Ajax Cape Town saga still dragging on, there will be no delay to the start of the new 2018/19 season.
The PSL recently set the new season’s starting date as August 4, just over three weeks from now.
The problem is however that there is still no decisive judgement over the fate of Ajax Cape Town, who have faced a series of court hearing and appeals since it was discovered back in January that new signing Tendai Ndoro was potentially ineligible to play for the Urban Warriors as they were his third team in a season – going against FIFA rules.
And when advocate William Mokhari ruled just over a month ago in an arbitration hearing that the Cape outfit would lose the points in which Ndoro had played, it appeared as if they were doomed for relegation to the National First Division.
But a late appeal to the High Court in Gauteng saw Judge Denise Fischer setting aside Mokhari’s ruling on July 3, effectively leaving Ajax in 15th place on the standings.
The PSL have however now confirmed, following a Board of Governors meeting on Thursday that they are to contest the latest decision.
“We will first appeal the matter and go to Judge Fischer to request leave appeal. Should we fail in this regard, we will then go to the FIFA Players Status Committee,” Khoza said.
“We also arrived at a decision that‚ whatever happens‚ the new [PSL] season will start as planned on August 4. All competitions will start as scheduled,” he added.
As Khoza mentioned, should the PSL fail to get Judge Fischer to overturn her ruling, they will again take the matter to FIFA.
The PSL had at a South African Football Association (SAFA) arbitration hearing in March appealed their own Dispute Resolution Chamber’s decision that Ndoro was eligible to play.
SAFA, in turn, referred the matter to FIFA, whose response was that it should be dealt with internally in South Africa.
If the PSL lose their next two appeals, they face a situation where Ajax remain in 15th position and as such should have taken part in the promotion-relegation play-offs, already won by Black Leopards.
In another probable headache, the top eight is in dispute after SuperSport United were awarded the points from the match they played against Ajax (which SuperSport had lost), which resultantly knocked AmaZulu out of contention for next season’s MTN8 competition.
With just three weeks to go, the pressure is on the PSL to get their house in order amidst criticism with how the whole situation has been handled. (ANA)