Will the South African PSL have 18 teams after the Tendai Ndoro saga?

Will the South African PSL have 18 teams after the Tendai Ndoro saga?
Tendai Ndoro of Ajax Cape Town evades challenge from Gift Sithole of Platinum Stars scores goal during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 12 January 2018 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Jul 03, 2018. 14:40

With the Tendai Ndoro and Ajax Cape Town saga having taken a new twist, the South African Premier Soccer League is running against time to make a decision as to when the new season will start.

This comes after the South Gauteng High Court ruled in favour of the Urban Warriors on Monday regarding the case when the club was docked points.

Ndoro was found ineligible after playing for three clubs in one season against PSL clubs Polokwane City, Platinum Stars and SuperSport United - who then protested and opened a case with the PSL.

Thereafter, the Ikamva-based side were found guilty and docked points which saw Stars move from the bottom of the table to 15th and hence they qualified to play in the PSL/National First Division promotional play-offs whilst Ajax suffered automatic relegation.

Ajax did not take the decision lying down and approached the South Gauteng High Court to see the judgement reversed because they felt FIFA was the right organisation to rule on the matter.

On Monday, July 2, Judge Denise Fischer set aside the verdict of arbitrator William Mokhari and handed the Ndoro matter back to the FIFA Players’ Status Committee (PSC) to make a final ruling on the issue.

With the new 2018/19 PSL season only a month away, the league’s governing body will now have to make a decision on how to resolve this matter.

The court’s decision means Muhsin Ertugral’s men have regained their spot 15th spot on the log and automatically qualify for the play-offs.

Although Black Leopards won the play-offs, it remains to be seen what the PSL will decide as the results are now null and void.

“The PSL has noted the judgement handed down by Judge Fisher in the High Court. The relief that was sought from the court was the setting aside of Advocate Mokhari SC’s misconduct award with orders that Ajax Cape Town should be in 15th position on the final league table, and that the promotion play-offs be set aside,” said the PSL in a statement.

“Judge 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.

“The judgment and advice of the league’s advisers will be considered by the PSL Executive Committee and the appropriate steps will be taken in due course.”

As things stand, the league has 16 clubs including Highlands Park who were promoted from the NFD, but many have called for an 18-team league where Jomo Cosmos and Ajax can also form part of the top tier to resolve the ongoing saga.

Meanwhile, the Ndoro has since been released by the Mother City side and will look for a club ahead of the 2018/19 PSL campaign.

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