PSL files urgent leave to appeal after Royal AM’s move to stop play-offs

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Sekhukhune United players believe they have the right to celebrate, while Royal AM players are also in celebration mood. Photo: Twitter/File
Sekhukhune United players believe they have the right to celebrate, while Royal AM players are also in celebration mood. Photo: Twitter/File


The PSL has filed an urgent application for leave to appeal the ruling that halted the start of the promotion/relegation play-offs.

On Monday evening, Royal AM successfully interdicted the start of the PSL play-offs which were set to start on Tuesday. Royal were scheduled to face Richards Bay in the opening match at Umhlathuze Sports Stadium outside Durban.

Royal want to overturn a Johannesburg High Court ruling that effectively paved the way for Sekhukhune United to become the GladAfrica Championship winners.

This followed a standoff over an arbitration ruling that had ordered the PSL to award Sekhukhune three points after their opponents, Polokwane City, flouted the rules in their league match in January.

READ: Safa tells PSL to follow rules after court order

In the hearing to interdict the play-offs, Royal, led by a superstar legal team that included Advocate Dali Mpofu and attorney Eric Mabuza, convinced Judge AJ Nyathi to temporarily pause the start of the play-offs.

The PSL released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, confirming that it would appeal the decision.

“The executive committee of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) today resolved to urgently seek leave to appeal against the order handed down by the honourable Acting Judge Nyathi of the Gauteng High Court on the evening of Monday 14 June 2021,” the league said.

“Judge Nyathi interdicted the end of season promotion/relegation play-offs that were due to commence at 3pm on June 15.

The PSL has been compelled to seek urgent relief as the last day of the official season is June 30 2021. Many player contracts terminate on that date and any further delay in completing the play-offs places the start of the 2021/22 season at risk.

Royal are set to approach to Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn a ruling by Deputy Judge President Roland Sutherland.

Sutherland granted Sekhukhune a declaratory order that forced the PSL to implement the decision of arbitrator, Advocate Hilton Epstein, to award the team three points after Polokwane City contravened the rule that compels a first division team to list five under-23 players on their match day team lists. City only had four on the day.

READ: Court favours Sekhukhune United in first division promotion impasse

The arbitrator ordered the awarding of the three points on the basis that the PSL disciplinary committee had erred in docking the points from City, and not award them to Sekhukhune, which had lodged a protest before the match.

In dismissing the efforts by the PSL and other interested parties to set the arbitrator’s decision aside, Sutherland’s ruling propelled Sekhukhune to the top of the first division on 53 points, while Royal dropped to second with 51 points.


Gomolemo Motshwane  

Sport journalist

+27 11 713 9001
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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