PSL, Safa hostilities play out at hearing

2014-01-12 14:00

The battle for the soul of South African football took centre stage at a ground-breaking Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing in Sandton, northern Joburg, this week.

In one corner was the SA Football Association (Safa) and in the other was its special member, the Premier Soccer League (PSL). This happened during a two-day CAS sitting to hear complaints by National First Division (NFD) clubs Thanda Royal Zulu and Chippa United.

Thanda are challenging the PSL over being denied promotion to the Absa Premiership, while United are crying foul over being relegated to the NFD.

Two independent insiders who were part of the hearing told City Press that PSL and Safa lawyers “caused drama” as they bickered over the interpretation of rules.

One source said: “The fight between the PSL and Safa was embarrassing. Safa kept harping on the point that they were the football governing body in SA.”

Another source added: “Their fighting stole the show and it was like Safa was fighting with the appellants against the PSL.”

The hearing was presided over by five arbitrators from the Switzerland-based entity.

An email sent to City Press by a CAS secretariat reads: “The arbitrators have now started their deliberations and will later prepare a final decision. At the moment, the date of notification of the final award is not known.”

The two clubs refused to comment, with United’s Siviwe “Chippa” Mpengesi saying: “Win or lose, we are happy that we exhausted all legal avenues.”

United complained that Thanda having approached the courts affected them during the promotional play-offs.

Thanda’s chief executive, Pierre Delvaux, could not be reached for comment.

The fracas emanated from a PSL decision that the abandoned NFD games at the start of the 2012/13 season would not be played and no points would be awarded.

The PSL said it would only comment once an award had been made, while Safa national executive committee member Poobalan Govindasamy said: “I can’t comment as the matter is sub judice.” publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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