Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza says the protracted saga involving Ajax Cape Town and striker Tendai Ndoro might not affect the promotion/relegation play-offs next month.
The PSL yesterday morning conducted the fixture draw for the three-team mini-league competition, which will decide whether another Absa Premiership club is relegated or a second First Division club is promoted alongside second-tier champions Highlands Park.
At present, Ajax are potential candidates for the play-offs as they occupy 15th position in the Premiership with just three games remaining in the campaign, while SuperSport United, Polokwane City and Golden Arrows are all within three points of the red zone.
Meanwhile, Ajax’s pending case over Ndoro’s eligibility could also still see them have points deducted in games in which the 32-year-old Zimbabwean featured since his arrival in January.
A final ruling will be arbitrated by Safa at the insistence of world football governing body Fifa.
The dispute arising from Ndoro’s eligibility after he featured for three clubs in the same season, Orlando Pirates, Al Faisaly and Ajax Cape Town, was returned to Safa for arbitration.
The matter was initially heard by the PSL’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC), which ruled in favour of Ndoro and declared the Zimbabwean international eligible to play.
However, the PSL challenged the DRC’s ruling at an arbitration hearing at Safa, which then referred the matter to Fifa by arguing that the DRC did not have jurisdiction over the matter.
According to a brief statement from Fifa, the Players’ Status Committee, which is chaired by former Safa CEO Raymond Hack, has ordered judgement back to “the competent authorities in South Africa”.
This is in accordance with Article 3 (pictured below) of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber pertaining to jurisdiction, while cross-referenced with Article 22 and 23 of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
Asked whether the PSL is confident the matter could be concluded before the start of the play-off on May 16, Khoza refused to comment on the ongoing procedures, but insisted that there was still a chance for the Cape-based club to escape the play-offs.
“We are hopeful that we will avoid that eventuality because we don’t know who’s going to be number 15. It might not be Ajax Cape Town, so we can’t even talk about it,” said Khoza yesterday.
“That’s a matter that is sub judice, we can’t talk about any detail or issues about it. We just have to keep quiet about it because the matter is under consideration at the moment. I still have to report to the board of governors on where it is at this point in time. But even then, we can’t say that there’s no guarantee that Ajax Cape Town will be number 15 (at the end of the season).” — KickOff.