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News Article  | Editor's Blog

A Bitter Taste In The Mouth

Editor's Blog

By Soccer Laduma - Jul 25, 2018 09:58 AM
The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season starts on Saturday, 04 August 2018, with six fixtures confirmed for the opening day, while two others will be played on Sunday, as confirmed by the League on Monday afternoon. ‘Not if we have anything to do with it,’ was Ajax Cape Town’s threat to the scheduled league resumption, a week earlier. 
 
While the league’s assurance was a bit of a huge sigh of relief, one can’t and shouldn’t underestimate Ajax’s threat. In a press briefing at the club’s headquarters last week, club CEO Ari Efstathiou outlined the team’s three-pronged approach in what is sure to be the last resort for the Urban Warriors to “seek justice”.
 
The process started yesterday, Tuesday 24th when Ajax approached South Gauteng High Court to have their case heard. Ajax are also planning to oppose the League’s application for leave to appeal Judge Denise Fischer’s overruling of an arbitration decision in the case of the eligibility of Tendai Ndoro, which led to Ajax’s relegation at the end of last season. The league, through the chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza, has made their intentions of appealing Fischer’s ruling clear but Ajax will, in return, launch their own application that should Fischer give the league the right to appeal her verdict, the original verdict will have to still stand until the appeal process has been completed. This could take months considering the democratic and transparent judiciary process, which we appreciate, in our country.   
 
Long story short, Judge Fischer ruled that Advocate William Mokhari’s arbitration award be set aside as the right platform to hear the Ndoro saga was FIFA’s Player Status Committee. FIFA returned the case to SAFA and PSL to solve the matter as it was under their jurisdiction, with bodies within these two structures designed for dealing with disciplinary issues.  
 
Such has been the cat-and-mouse chase between Ajax and the league over the relegation of the Cape Town-based club, that the end to this prolonged case seems far from over. While both parties believe they have a strong case, one can’t overrule the possibility of a delayed league start. As all eyes are on the League and Ajax’s battle, the eventual outcome of this case has far more reaching consequences than meets the eye. Ajax, for example, are fighting for their 15th place finish on the log, which was lost due to a number of points deducted and given to opposition after Advocate Mokhari’s ruling.
 
The far-reaching implications for this are that, should the Urban Warriors lose, they will launch an interdict to have the start of the new season put on hold while the Ndorogate is still before the courts. If they win, their victory could render the recently completed promotion/relegation play-offs null and void. Who won the play-offs? Black Leopards. Where are they now? Promoted to the elite league. Will they accept the ruling without a fight? Absolutely not! They will be within their rights to fight tooth and nail to hold on to their PSL status, especially after securing their promotion following so many failed attempts. They’ve also engaged in contracts with the government in order to upgrade their infrastructure to meet the PSL standards. Anything threatening their PSL status will be met with a lot of fight. You also have teams like SuperSport United, for instance, who through Ajax’s relegation, were secured an unlikely Top Eight finish and wouldn’t give up their precious spot without a fight.  
 
It is an open secret that teams like Jomo Cosmos, for instance, who lost out in the play-offs, will have been keeping a close eye on the proceedings, depending on what the eventual outcomes of the case will be. This case is bigger than the League and Ajax because there are a lot of interested parties to it. That is why Platinum Stars were able to report on the same day Ajax were automatically relegated, replacing them in the opening fixture of the play-offs against Lidoda Duvha. Under normal circumstances, it would have been a logistical nightmare for Stars to summon their players, during off-season, a day before the game and still have to travel. Ajax had not even returned to the Mother City when Dikwena arrived in Venda to take their place in the play-offs. 
 
What is the solution to this quagmire? One hopes a settlement will be reached soon so that our attention shifts from the courtrooms to the playing fields, where it rightfully belongs.    
 
What started out as an ordinary football case has drawn so much attention and caused an unprecedented consternation to the league and everyone involved. If the ongoing process is anything to go by, this Ndorogate will not end well as it has already left a bitter taste in the mouths of not only those involved but everyone associated with the beautiful game.  
 
We are only just over a week away from the scheduled much-anticipated start of the season and the controversy surrounding Ajax’s relegation isn’t doing the league any favours. While we have to respect and appreciate the league processes and everyone’s right to be heard, including the time afforded to the respective legal teams, one can’t help but feel this case should have been expedited. This saga should have been given top priority for the special case that it is. The continued dragging of this case is more than just damaging to the brand of the league and South African football at large. We hope football authorities will go out of their way to solve this dilemma so that we don’t have to wait any longer before the start of the season. With just over a week to go, we can’t wait any further for the start of the new season. 
 
Here’s also to hoping that the strained relationships will be mended as the Ajax boss indicated, “Ajax have stated time and again that we are willing to sit around the table and discuss a solution with all the interested parties, but this has been rebuffed. We are now left with no other option but to proceed with the action we are taking. I have told the Board of Governors that this is not a personal issue, it is a business decision, and that in our shoes any of them would have done the same.”
Need I say more?
 
Cheers
VeeJay  
 

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2twice Joined: 01 Dec 2011
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2twice Jul 26, 2018 01:21 PM
@MaTshepiso you are really confused. DRC is independent and its not dependent on the PSL particiaption when it makes decisions. DRC may be a legal structure but it has no jurisdiction to deal with this international matter. Understand that? FIFA has never sent this matter back to the DRC but sent it to SAFA not the PSL. FIFA doesnt deal with the psl directly it deals with SAFA. I hope its clear now.
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MaTshepiso Joined: 21 Jan 2011
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MaTshepiso Jul 26, 2018 12:18 PM
@2twice ...DRC is a legal structure. WHY DID PSL PARTICIPATE IN THAT STRUCTURE WHEN IT WAS DECIDING AJAX CASE? WHY DID FIFA SENT IT BACK TO DRC/PSL IF WAS NOT THE RIGHT STRUCTURE TO DECIDE ?????????
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2twice Joined: 01 Dec 2011
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2twice Jul 26, 2018 11:21 AM
Your argument is based on an incorrect decision made by and incorrect body. So now how can we follow such a decision? The DRC issue has long been settled already. When leave to appeal is heard and upheld i will remind you.
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2twice Joined: 01 Dec 2011
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2twice Jul 26, 2018 11:17 AM
@MaTshepiso My chief listen carefully again. The DRC had no jurisdiction to decide on this matter in the first place. That is why SAFA arbitrator Cassim SC set aside its decision to let ndoro play and ajax had to stop playing ndoro. Ajax agreed with that decision as they didnt appeal it, niether did the DRC. Therefore it means ajax followed instructions from a body that had no jurisdiction to decide this particular international case.
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MaTshepiso Joined: 21 Jan 2011
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MaTshepiso Jul 26, 2018 10:40 AM
@2twice ...you still ignore the fact that DRC gave Ajax a permission to play Ndoro. It is a legal structure and its decision are binding until they are appealed or changed. If SOMEONE says he is going to appeal, that does not mean I must ignore the decision of the DRC. Once you accept that, you will see that Ajax was right. There is nothing about Ajax being "stubborn". It is playing by the rules as DRC ruled that Ndoro can play. Stop relying on incorrect interpretation of the decisions of DRC, mOKHARI and
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MaTshepiso Joined: 21 Jan 2011
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MaTshepiso Jul 26, 2018 10:40 AM
@2twice ...you still ignore the fact that DRC gave Ajax a permission to play Ndoro. It is a legal structure and its decision are binding until they are appealed or changed. If SOMEONE says he is going to appeal, that does not mean I must ignore the decision of the DRC. Once you accept that, you will see that Ajax was right. There is nothing about Ajax being "stubborn". It is playing by the rules as DRC ruled that Ndoro can play. Stop relying on incorrect interpretation of the decisions of DRC, mOKHARI and
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2twice Joined: 01 Dec 2011
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2twice Jul 26, 2018 08:44 AM
@MaTshepiso you are clearly not abreast with such matters. Let me clarify it for you. There was NOTHING preventing the psl from registering ndoro, the fifa statute does not prohibit registration. Secondly a registration card is just that...proof that you are registered with the league, it doesnt mean you must play based on it, you still need to be eligible to play. For eg a player with a red card is registered but ineligible to play, a foreigner may be registered but still ineligible to play. I hope you understand that. The decision by Mokhari SC is based on the games ajax played with protesting opposition team, at that point ajax knew there was issues with ndoro and the psl had informed them they will appeal the drc ruling. Ajax had a choice there and then to say owk lets put ndoro aside but they were stubborn and forged ahead to play him despite protest from the league and fellow clubs. Again let me school you about the DRC. Its independent from the PSL, and it has been confirmed by SAFA arbitrator that the DRC had no jurisdiction in this international matter hence its decision was set aside and ajax stopped using ndoro. So stop relying on an incorrect decision from and incorrect body.
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kolobe@kby Joined: 17 Dec 2016
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kolobe@kby Jul 25, 2018 11:29 PM
The fact that he left pirates didn't sit well with iron Duke then he decided to destroy his future failing to realise the severity of the case
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MDANANA Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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MDANANA Jul 25, 2018 05:16 PM
All these happen because the league doesn't have a qualified CEO, that mrs madlala employment equity qouta selected woman was a step backwards from Trevor Philips era where cases would had never took so long under the quality law firm of Zola majavu
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MDANANA Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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MDANANA Jul 25, 2018 05:16 PM
All these happen because the league doesn't have a qualified CEO, that mrs madlala employment equity qouta selected woman was a step backwards from Trevor Philips era where cases would had never took so long under the quality law firm of Zola majavu
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MaTshepiso Joined: 21 Jan 2011
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MaTshepiso Jul 25, 2018 03:34 PM
@2twice ....you keep on being wrong and repeating Khoza`s bile. PSL Dispute Resolution chamber and PSL gave Ajax a go ahead to play Ndoro. Please stop being naïve. PSL accepted Ndoro`s registration and issued a playing card. Dispute Resolution gave AJAX a permission to field him. Only AFTER these two incidents, PSL advised AJAX not to field Ndoro. PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL IS NOT ADMINISTERED ON ADVICES FROM BEHIND THE GRANDSATAND. It is administered on rules and regulation. Dispute Resolution ruled that Ndoro CAN play. Why did PSL issued him with playing card?
5ad3001f8875b
Line's Man... Joined: 15 Apr 2018
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Line's Man... Jul 25, 2018 03:06 PM
PSL Management Is Poor. Clear And Simple Cases Takes Many Months To Be Resolved Or Even More Than A Year. How I Wish Ajax Cape Town Win This Case To Expose Old Toothless Khoza Because This Happened Under His Watch. Nywee! Nywee! This League Is One Of The Best 10 In The Whole World; This Can't Be True...
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Glamour boys akaKhosination Joined: 17 Sep 2016
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Glamour boys akaKhosination Jul 25, 2018 11:38 AM
This have shown how poor our soccer had been run. This case was supposed to sorted out as soon as the league finishes. Or I forgot psl do not even have CEO for 3 yrs now
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2twice Joined: 01 Dec 2011
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2twice Jul 25, 2018 11:10 AM
This ajax team has been going one direction since comitis left, and thats downhill. This matter hasnt recieved the urgency that it deserves and thats been one of the problems. Its unfortunate that such legal matters emanating from last season has still been not resolved. My worry is that Ajax doesnt want to take responsibility for its own wrong doings, it cannot be that they have not been adviced that they infact violated a FIFA clause not the PSL. The league itself may have been clueless as well to this rule, however that doesnt make the rule go away, as the law will tell you, ignorance is never a defence, but may be a mitigating factor. I also fail to understand why would ajax have gone against the league and fellow club members advice? The Mokhari ruling deducted points in the matches were other teams had protested only despite the fact that ndoro played other games as well. There was no need for ajax to have been arrogant and stubborn when confronted by these protests and take a decision to risk it all by playing ndoro fully aware of protest action. The Mokhari ruling was fair in that regard beacuse ajax were given an option by opposing teams and the league prior to these three games and they ignored such intervention. I just hope we recieve a sober judgment on thursday and ajax take their deserved place at the NFD table.

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