PSL’s Ajax mess continues

Tendai Ndoro (Gallo Images)
Tendai Ndoro (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - It has been one hell of a week for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) executives with all the uncertainty around Tendai Ndoro’s three-club situation.

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Ndoro played for three clubs this season – Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and Saudi Arabia outfit Al Faisaly – and this has resulted in several court rulings involving his latest club.

As things stand, Ajax should return to position 15 on the final PSL log as per the ruling of Judge Denise Fisher handed down on Monday at the Johannesburg High Court.

This throws a spanner in the works for Platinum Stars, who were awarded 15th place following advocate William Mokhari’s ruling that docked Ajax nine points for fielding Ndoro who was deemed “ineligible”.

But Fisher ruled that Mokhari had no jurisdiction to dock Ajax points, and only the world football governing body Fifa had such powers.

Fifa rules state that a player can be registered for three clubs in a season, but could play only for two.

Ajax was Ndoro’s third club in a single season after Pirates and Al Faisaly.

Mokhari’s ruling saw Polokwane City, SuperSport United and Platinum Stars given three points for the matches they played against Ajax, who fielded Ndoro.

Stars went on to play in the National First Division promotion/relegation three-way play-off with Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos. Leopards won the play-offs and were then promoted to the Absa Premiership.

On Monday, the PSL issued a terse statement reading, in part: “Fisher set aside advocate Mokhari’s award, but declined to hand down the other relief sought. It is necessary for the league to properly consider the meaning and effect of the judgment before making any further comment on the matter.”

They called an urgent executive meeting on Thursday when they made a decision to appeal the court judgment. They are set to convene a board of governors on Thursday.

Speculation has been in overdrive since the latest ruling, with many looking at possible solutions for the mess the PSL finds itself in.

Some have suggested that the league should revert to the previous structure of 18 clubs instead of the current 16.

League chairperson Irvin Khoza said this week the possibility of an expanded league was not even discussed at last Thursday’s meeting.

With the league scheduled to start on August 3, time is running out fast for the PSL to make a decision.

If it chooses to replay the play-offs (between Leopards, Ajax and Jomo Cosmos), it could again end up in a lengthy court battle and that’s not something it relishes.

Another observation has been that the board of governors cannot make a decision before Fifa decides on the matter.

Fifa’s ruling might not be final as any aggrieved party would still have the right to take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the body that is the final global arbiter on all sports-related cases.

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