SOUTH AFRICAN side Ajax Cape Town have revealed they will battle to overturn the decision to relegate them from the country’s Premiership because of their use of Zimbabwean international forward Tendai Ndoro in some league matches.
The club said they were now consulting with their legal team regarding William Mokhari SC’s arbitration ruling released yesterday which dumped them out of the top-flight league.
“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 (today) morning at 10am. Amongst other issues, the club will seek to interdict the promotion playoffs from commencing on Wednesday 16th May at 3pm. This will be sought pending an urgent review of the arbitrators award this morning," the club said on Twitter.
Ndoro played for Orlando Pirates and then went on to sign for a Saudi Arabia side Al Faisaly before retracing his footsteps back to the ABSA PSL. But FIFA rules prohibit a player to play for three different clubs in a single season. Ajax were found guilty of fielding the player in three matches against Platinum Stars, Polokwane City and SuperSport United. Ajax won two of the matches and drew one.
And as punishment, the Urban Warriors forfeited the three matches by a scoreline of 3-0 leading them to finish the season at the bottom of the table with 24 points, three behind Platinum Stars. In all, Ajax lost seven points from their season’s tally and Stars, who had earlier been confirmed as relegated, have now been handed a lifeline in the play-offs.
According to a statement from the South African Premier Soccer League yesterday, Ndoro was also found guilty and banned for two matches. The verdict was delivered by SAFA arbitrator Advocate Mokhari yesterday, bringing to finality the prolonged dispute between the Urban Warriors and the PSL.
“The Premier Soccer League has received the award in the arbitration proceedings concerning Ajax Cape Town and Mr Tendai Ndoro from Arbitrator, Advocate W. Mokhari SC. Ajax Cape Town FC was charged with five charges of misconduct arising from the club fielding Mr. Ndoro in various matches. The Arbitrator also heard an appeal by Polokwane City FC against the fielding of Mr Ndoro in their match as well as a protest by SuperSport United. The Arbitrator today ruled that Ajax Cape Town were guilty of breaching SAFA and FIFA Regulations relating to their fielding of Mr Ndoro. Polokwane City’s appeal and Supersport United’s Protest were also upheld.
“Adv Mokhari SC awarded the matches played by Ajax Cape Town against Platinum Stars, Polokwane City and Supersport United to those clubs with a 3-0 scoreline. In addition Ajax Cape Town were fined a total of R350 000. Mr Ndoro was sentenced to a two match suspension for his misconduct. Ajax Cape Town was ordered to pay the costs (including the costs of senior counsel) of the other parties involved in the arbitration. As a result of the ruling, please take note of the revised log positions of the Absa Premiership.
“Platinum Stars Football Club will therefore participate in the Promotion play-offs as envisaged in the NSL Handbook read with the Play-off Rules on the dates. For clarity purposes, the scheduled fixture in Thohoyandou tomorrow (today) between Black Leopards and (now) Platinum Stars will go ahead,” read part of the statement.