We are in for yet more late-season drama in the NFD – not on the field of play, but in the boardroom. This song is getting old and it’s starting to sound like a stuck record.
Every season, we have to debate issues in the boardroom regarding points awarded, and this does not reflect well on the PSL’s “professionalism” and claim to be the best-run league in Africa.
It’s almost always a given that there will be late drama. The script is the same, just different actors. What would have been a great grand finale to the GladAfrica Championship this afternoon has been turned into an unnecessary legal wrangle.
Once again, it seems the NFD title will be decided in the boardroom. As the plot thickens, the question is whether the second-tier league will end this afternoon or not.
There is a lot of confusion as to what will happen next after the league’s statement on Friday, which said the PSL was not happy with the arbitrator’s decision.
This week, an arbitrator ruled in Sekhukhune United’s favour in the dispute involving Polokwane City, who were found guilty of contravening the NSL rules by failing to include five Under-23 players on their team sheet against United in January.
The ruling moved Sekhukhune from second spot to the top of the GladAfrica Championship table‚ putting them level with Royal AM on 50 points. Seemingly, the PSL is not comfortable with this outcome.
“The PSL is in the process of considering several options and has been in communication with all member clubs in this regard,” read the statement in part.
But this could have been avoided if PSL disciplinary matters were dealt with timeously and with urgency they deserve. Matters that involve deductions and awarding of points need to be expedited to avoid aggrieved parties crying foul.
Some are straightforward matters that should be resolved within a month so teams can adapt to the changing conditions.
This match was played on January 2, but the dispute is only being finalised now. What took so long for this case to be settled?
These are things that make people come up with conspiracy theories. What happened to the saying that one must strike while the iron is hot? That’s fair play. And justice will be seen to be done. And, like I said before on this platform, justice delayed is justice denied. Saying the wheels of justice grind slowly does not hold any more, especially in football.
We really don’t need this drama. I don’t think the wait-and-see approach suits everyone going into today’s matches.
My thinking is that if Royal win and Sekhukhune lose today, then the matter will not be pursued further. I just hope there won’t be any underhanded dealings ahead of the matches and fair play will prevail.
My wish is for the top two teams to win their matches because I want to see what will happen. I might be wrong – and I’m happy to be corrected – but if you punish one party by deducting points, don’t you have to give those points to the other side?
Also, what’s the point of clubs lodging protests if they are not going to be awarded points? Logically, clubs are in it for points, hence they follow their protests to the end.
I thought that would be the obvious conclusion and the right thing to do in the Sekhukhune-Polokwane matter. But I have come to realise that common sense is not so common any more. In January, there was still a lot to play for with no guaranteed top spot or automatic promotion.
Not long ago, the same disciplinary committee punished Cape United for failing to pitch for their match in January by awarding points to their opponents, Cape Town Spurs. That decision was only made two weeks ago. All these delays caused consternation because the stakes are high.
It seems as if the powers that be have not learnt from previous episodes of this movie as we are here again. Let’s hope we don’t have the same conversation next year.
- Follow me on Twitter @TimspiritMolobi