Absa Premiership

PSL DC struggling to maintain credibility

Irvin Khoza (PSL website)
Irvin Khoza (PSL website)

Cape Town - After inconsistencies in several high-profile cases, the Premier Soccer League Disciplinary Committee (PSL DC) is struggling to hold onto any sense of credibility as an independent body.

With the controversial Nande Becker serving as the PSL's prosecutor, the entire procedure of disciplinary action is in need of an overhaul after shortcomings were highlighted in recent cases.

Staggeringly Mamelodi Sundowns were found guilty of fielding the ineligible Wayne Arendse almost six months after the incident took place in a 1-1 draw against Bidvest Wits in October 2018.

This meant that even though Sundowns finished the 2018/2019 campaign as champions, they were unsure of their final points total with the threat a points deduction hanging over their heads.

Many threw accusations at PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza - who so happens to be the owner of Sundowns' nearest title challengers in Orlando Pirates - of attempts to destabilise Masandawana.

Another high-profile case was that of Ajax Cape Town and the inconsistencies of several judgements that also left the club in limbo regarding their Absa Premiership status.

In the same case the PSL were comically forced to appeal the decision of its own disciplinary committee.

The most recent case involved a public spat between Cape Town City and Becker with CT City boss John Comitis accusing the latter of handling the case of midfielder Mpho Makola in an unprofessional manner.

"Becker continued to emotionally and intellectually badger Mpho, who was taken advantage of, " Comitis said.

"There was a clear premeditated intention from Nande Becker to ensure that a 12 month ban and R250k fine was placed."

Becker was left with egg on his face after the initial six month ban was overturned to a more lenient four-match ban.

Currently two cases are still to be finalised involving Gaston Sirino and Bidvest Wits duo Sameeg Doutie and Ricardo Goss.

Sirino was charged after hitting two opponents with the Wits players both charged with shoving a match official.

The Uruguayan attacker - who has had a string of disciplinary issues - is yet to be handed a decision on his case - a full five months after the incident took place in September 2019.

The Wits case with the players facing a similar punishment to Makola has now also been suspended for a further two weeks.

Solution

The English Football Association regulations for disciplinary action states:

- A charge is brought against a participant timeously or at the earliest working day following a match-day weekend.
- The charged participant is given a 7-day period to respond in writing to the charge.
- A date (taking into consideration a possible postponement) should be determined at the earliest possible date within 10 days.
- A hearing take places where all written or verbal evidence is considered by a disciplinary panel.
- The decision or any possible sanction is announced immediately after the hearing.

The PSL should consider following the above guidelines by the FA when handling future cases to encourage transparency and objectivity.

With inconsistencies in the time frame certain cases are handled, this leaves room for corruption or favouritism  with not only the decision but also regards to how they are announced.

With varying levels of the impact they have on clubs which isn't fair.