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GladAfrica Championship

More Drama Behind The Scenes In Promotion Battle

It’s now emerged that several more Premier Soccer League clubs have written to the league to express a keen interest in the urgent application that will decide who gets promoted to the top flight in the coming days.    

As things stand, the official winner of the GladAfrica Championship has not been crowned even after Sunday’s finale in the second tier, with the PSL confirming shortly after the curtain was brought down that there would be no trophy handover.

This was as a result of a ruling by SAFA arbitrator Hilton Epstein, which had handed Sekhukhune United three points last week and effectively sent them – not Royal AM – top of the table on a superior goal difference days before the last round.

Epstein had stripped Polokwane City of the three points they collected in their victory over Sekhukhune on January 2 after they were found guilty of failing to have the full quota of five u/23 players in their squad as per NSL rules.

Those points were given to Sekhukhune.  

Prior to the judgement, Royal AM thought they only needed a point to secure promotion, so Epstein’s ruling threw a spanner in the works.

However, in their brief response on the same day, the PSL rejected the ruling and confirmed it would be seeking legal advice – the log table was not updated!

Then came Sunday…

Royal AM managed a late draw, via a dubious penalty, to get the crucial point they needed to remain top of the log, while Sekhukhune also got the job done on their part to make sure they would still be the ones moving to the DStv Premiership, should the judgement stand.

Quite astonishingly, both clubs celebrated “promotion” on Sunday with pictures and videos of the wild festivities circulating all over social media – a rather embarrassing state of affairs for the PSL, who remained mum.

Royal AM posed for pictures with medals!

Now, the Siya crew is in possession of a letter written to SAFA to request the delay of an urgent application said to have been filed by Polokwane City on Monday.

This not only affects automatic promotion to the Premiership, but the upcoming play-offs that involves one top-flight side plus two other teams in the GladAfrica Championship.

“The NSL has also received, as recently as Friday 21 May 2021, correspondence from other Member Clubs not currently cited in the application but who may be affected by the outcome and who have indicated that they may have an interest in being involved in the determination of this matter,” read the letter from the PSL to SAFA. 

Mato Madlala, on behalf of the league as its acting CEO, proposed that the league file its affidavit no later than Friday, while “the remaining respondents will file their respective answering affidavits by no later than Tuesday, 1 June.” 

She also advised that the urgent application sit down for hearing on June 8, five days before the new date for the play-offs.

All this is subject to City, Sekhukhune and SAFA agreeing to her suggestions, again indicating that this is far from over.

The play-offs, Madlala argued, needed to be completed by June 30 when the cycle for contract lengths across the PSL expire.

Story by @superjourno

Click through the gallery below to see the top 10 most valuable South African players.


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