Controversy rattles league

2018-03-21 06:00

The 16 clubs campaigning in the Free State stream of the ABC Motsepe League look set to settle their rivalry and gain points on the pitch rather than in the boardroom.

This is after the league was this past week (12 to 19 March) thrown into disarray due to decisions centred on technicalities and ruling.

The controversy saw one club, Dla2 from Qwaqwa, awarded six points without playing despite being at the venues.

The team was awarded the points plus goals against Kingston FC – this after the host (Kingston) did not oblige to the rule compelling them to ensure the pitch was play­able on the day of the match (10 March).

In the other game, Dla2 was awarded three points plus two goals after relegation candidates Young Masters reportedly arrived late (15:15) for their fixture, which was scheduled to be played in Qwaqwa over the weekend of 17 March.

In another controversy involving Dla2 and league challengers Mangaung Unite, the South African Football Association’s (Safa) provincial disciplinary committee (DC) ruling was unfavourable.

Dla2 lodged protest that Mangaung fielded an overaged player in their fixture, which they lost with 1 – 4.

Mangaung were found guilty, docketed three points and ordered to pay the cost of the disciplinary hearing.

However, Dla2, who lodged the protest, were not awarded the three points plus two goals – much to their dismay.

The aggrieved Dla2 were found to have not followed due process to lodge the protest and thus the disciplinary committee decided against awarding the points and goals.

The committee ruled that Dla2 be refunded a R10 000 protest fee.

Klip Moremi, provincial league coordinator, said the DC verdict would stand and abide as per ruling taken during the hearing on Wednesday (14/03).

Mangaung raised grave concern that wrong information, interpreting the ruling of the DC otherwise, was posted on the football federation’s website. Information indicated that Dla2 had been awarded three points plus two goals, while in fact it was not the case.

Moremi said according the ruling by the DC, the match would not be replayed.

“At the end of the league, both Dla2 and Mangaung will appear to have finished or played 29 games, as opposed to the rest of the clubs, due to the ruling taken to not award points to Dla2 as expected,” explained Moremi.

Another controversy saw the match between title contenders, Tshiame All Stars and Free State Stars, shifted to 12:00 on Saturday (17/03), while most of the teams were assigned to play at 15:00, as usual.

This match was not played, causing a stir and fingers pointed to the league coordinator, Moremi.

The situation allowed Stars to have ample time to watch rival league contenders Mangaung play against African Warriors.

The general interpretation of this incident is that Stars were granted unfair advantage over Mangaung ahead of their all-important fixture to be played today (21 March) in Bloemfontein.

Responding to this debacle, Moremi said Stars and FS Stars had submitted requests to play their game at 12:00.

“The fixture between Stars and FS Stars will be played on 28 March,” said Moremi.

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