Safa fiasco has a twist in the tale

2018-05-23 06:00
Sinki Leshabane, Mangaung Unite’s managing director.Photos: Teboho Setena

Sinki Leshabane, Mangaung Unite’s managing director.Photos: Teboho Setena

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The fiasco to decide the Free State’s ABC Motsepe League champions for 2017-’18 has taken a dramatic twist.

This is after Dikwena United lodged an appeal with the South African Football Association (Safa) national appeal board to overturn the federation’s provincial disciplinary committee decision to not award Bloemfontein Young Tigers the 12 goals of the bizarre match.

Moremi Klip, Safa’s provincial executive officer, confirmed that Dikwena have lodged an appeal wherein they argue why they want Tigers awarded the goals of their nullified game.

He said Dikwena, which appear to be fighting the battle on behalf of Tigers to be announced as the Free State’s ABC Motsepe League winner have paid R15 000 to have the appeal hearing.

The Free State winner qualifies to compete for promotion to the upper rank of the National First Division League at Safa’s national promotion play-offs, set to start early next month.

Klip said Safa’s national appeal board was expected to sit on Friday (25/05).

Dikwena submitted the appeal on Thursday (17/05), which was the deadline. However, Klip confirmed that Tigers did not lodge an appeal.

In the light of the dramatic twist, speculation is rife that Tigers, owned by British Khoarai, were apparently also preparing for the promotional play-offs, like their bitter rivals Mangaung Unite, owned by Sinki Leshabane.

Dikwena’s appeal means Mangaung will have to wait for the Safa board to deal with the appeal to know if they are the provincial champions.

Safa’s provincial disciplinary committee at its sitting in Bloemfontein, ruled to award three points plus two goals to Tigers, and nullified the reported bizarre score line of 12 – 1 against Dikwena.

In addition, the provincial disciplinary committee ruled that Mangaung were the champions. This verdict by the provincial structure was taken after Dikwena had pleaded guilty to charges of their controversial fixture against Tigers. The match in dispute reportedly kicked off one hour and 15 minutes late.

The federation was plunged into a fiasco due to a contradiction of decisions taken, instructing the match officials to permit the Tigers-Dikwena fixture to continue, despite the latter club from Qwaqwa pitching late. The outing was played at the Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium in Botshabelo.

The instruction by the official was contrary to the directive given by the federation that all clubs must start their matches at 15:00.

This was one of two decisive outings to decide this year’s Free State ABC Motsepe League winners. The other match involved Kingston and Mangaung, which the latter won by 4 – 0.

Mzwandile Maforvane, Safa’s provincial chairperson, had earlier stated that the association would investigate the possibility of match-fixing and that Tigers and Dikwena colluded to influence the match at the centre of bitter dispute – but remained unspecific about the official’s role who instructed the fixture to go ahead.

Dikwena’s appeal means Mangaung will have to wait for the Safa board to deal with the appeal to know if they are the provincial champions.

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