As the Absa Premiership and GladAfrica Championship resume their programmes, PSL prosecutor Nande Becker has confirmed that he has 25 pending disciplinary cases to deal with.
He said these were made up of different causes of actions that led to the contravention of the compliance manual.
While Becker admits that “difficult matters often come to the fore towards the end of a season, when clubs are battling promotions, relegations and vying for league honours” – as happened during the past two campaigns – he believes the upcoming one won’t be overshadowed by controversy.
Last season, Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned league champions despite being found guilty of fielding Wayne Arendse when the defender was not initially in the submitted team list for a league match.
They were slapped with a monetary fine, but it was a sanction that came about six and a half months after the incident.
The 2017/18 season saw Ajax Cape Town suffer automatic relegation after being found guilty of illegally registering striker Tendai Ndoro. Ajax had finished 15th and were ready to save their status via the play-offs, but the verdict after the protracted case sealed their fate.
Becker, however, is confident that the 2019/20 campaign won’t be marred by any of the pending cases.
“There are approximately 25 outstanding matters that are triable. With the shortened season however, I am going to have to prioritise and deal with new and ‘older’ matters based on urgency,” he says.
He says arrangements are being made to finalise hearings of the dispute resolution chamber and disciplinary committee electronically, which is necessary owing to the restrictions related to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The logistics of the hearings, he says, have been made more challenging because all the PSL clubs (including their officials) will be locked inside a biologically safe environment – the “bio-bubble” – until the completion of the 2019/20 season.
“Because of this, we’re faced with a practical balance in respect of witnesses needing to appear,” says Becker.
The GladAfrica Championship has a pending case involving a dispute between relegation-threatened sides TS Sporting and Mbombela United over the registration of Eswatini striker Sabelo Ndzinisa.
TS Sporting claim Ndzinisa signed with them at the start of the season before joining Mbombela United.
Becker says the matter will now be heard by the dispute resolution chamber.
“It must, however, always be borne in mind that there’s no sanction in our rules prescribing that a team fielding an improperly registered player will forfeit matches featuring that player. Clubs tend to forget this fact, leading to unnecessary protests and complaints.”
Forfeiting a match as a sanction is at the discretion of the disciplinary committee, he says.
PREMIERSHIP TITLE RACE
The epic clash between Sundowns and Orlando Pirates will restart the league programme at Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday evening.
A result other than a draw will certainly add a dramatic twist to the race for the Absa Premiership’s R15 million first-prize purse.
The two titan teams are separated by just four points, as are leaders Kaizer Chiefs and second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns.
Bucs are still in with an outside chance of scooping the crown if Chiefs and Sundowns drop points in their remaining matches.
Another focal point in the Pirates-Sundowns game will be assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena, who’ll face his former side Bucs just a month after his reunion with the Brazilians.
In another crucial encounter, Bidvest Wits will test whether Chiefs can cling on to their lead when the two face off at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday. Wits will be eager to enhance their own chances in the title race.
NFD’S BID FOR A GOLDEN TICKET
The GladAfrica Championship’s battle for promotion to the top flight commences today.
Log leaders Ajax Cape Town are four wins away from earning automatic promotion to the premiership, after two seasons in the first division. Up for grabs is the new prize purse of R3 million.
The race for play-off berth will also be hotly contested when the runner-up and third-placed side meet the 15th-place finisher in a mini-tournament scheduled to run from September 6 to 21.
Given the exorbitant costs involved in preparing the bio-bubble for the remaining games, clubs will have to foot their own bills for travel, accommodation, Covid-19 testing, personal protective equipment and sanitisers.
Transportation of the teams will be provided by the PSL, while stadium expenses will be covered by Gauteng.
It will be a mad dash to the finish line as the PSL still has 113-games that need to be played in the next 43 days before the season can officially end. Thereafter there will be a break of a month and the 2020/21 campaign will commence. PSL chairman Irvin Khoza announced that the new season will start on October 9. Here is a timeline of when this season will be concluded and when the next one will begin:
August 11: Absa Premiership resumes
August 30: GladAfrica ends
September 5: Premiership ends
September 8/12: Nedbank Cup final
September 6-21: PSL playoffs
September 22-November 17: Transfer window
October 9: Start of 2020/21 PSL season
February 1-March 1: Transfer window