Ajax relegated in Ndoro eligibility debacle

Ajax Cape Town have been relegated from the Absa Premier Soccer League topflight after being found guilty of illegally fielding Tendai Ndoro.

Tendai Ndoro of Ajax Cape Town celebrates with Muhsin Ertugral, Coach of Ajax Cape Town 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

Ndoro’s eligibility has been under question for months and South African Football Association (Safa) legal officer Tebogo Motlanthe said arbitrator William Mokhari ruled that Ajax would be docked nine points from three league matches in which the player was fielded by the Cape Town club.

By fielding Ndoro‚ Ajax Cape Town contravened Rule 54.1 of the National Soccer League rules read with Article 22.9 of the constitution of the National Soccer League‚ article paragraph 5 of the Safa regulations on the status and transfer of players as well as article 5‚ paragraph 3 of the Fifa regulations on the status and transfer which state: “Players may be registered with a maximum of three clubs during one season. During this season‚ the player is only eligible to play official matches for two clubs.”

Those matches were against Platinum Stars (January 12)‚ Polokwane City (February 4) and SuperSport United (February 28).

The games have been awarded to the three teams with 3-0 results and a fine of R50 000 was imposed for each game.

There were four other matches in which a protest was lodged in regards with Ndoro and Ajax were fined R50 000 for each game.

Ndoro has been suspended for two matches, but the docked points mean Ajax‚ who finished the 2017/18 PSL season in 15th place with 31 points from 30 matches‚ have dropped down to the 16th spot‚ which is the automatic relegation position.

Platinum Stars‚ who were initially relegated‚ move up to 15th and will contest the PSL/National First Division promotion and relegation play-offs against Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos.

Ajax have 72 hours to appeal the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Ajax Cape Town released a brief statement on the ruling.

“Ajax Cape Town are currently consulting with their legal team regarding (arbitrator) William Mokhari SC’s arbitration ruling released this morning. The club is in the process of preparing papers to be filed urgently before the High Court in Johannesburg for the matter to be heard tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 10am. Among other issues, the club will seek to interdict the promotion play-offs from commencing on Wednesday 16th May at 3pm. This will be sought pending an urgent review of the arbitrator’s award this morning.”  The Chronicle