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FOOTBALL FRACAS

Orlando Pirates and Tim Sukazi saga to be finalised in three weeks, says PSL prosecutor

Adv Zola Majavu during the 2022 Dstv Compact Cup Press Conference on 5 January 2022 at PSL Offices in Johannesburg. (Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

The Premier Soccer League is out to avoid a repeat of problems in seasons gone by when it comes to disciplinary matters.

In past seasons the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) disciplinary processes have dragged on until very late into the respective campaigns. At times these delays have left the league scrambling to put out fires in the dying embers of the season.

Royal AM and Sekhukhune’s GladAfrica Championship promotion scuffle towards the end of the 2020/21 season, which dragged on for months and ended up in the courts, comes to mind.

This season, two top-flight giants find themselves in front of the PSL’s disciplinary committee. Both Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are facing charges which may affect the log standings, with numerous teams scrambling for the coveted second spot in the league.

The Buccaneers are facing a charge of misconduct following a fracas at Orlando Stadium back in December which involved TS Galaxy chairperson Tim Sukazi and the Soweto side’s security personnel. They allegedly tried to deny him entry to the field and change rooms, despite the fact that he had all-access accreditation. Pirates have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

https://twitter.com/TSGALAXYFC/status/1469690117174534153

On Tuesday, 1 March 2022, PSL prosecutor Zola Majavu issued an update on the Pirates matter, saying the disciplinary committee hoped to finalise it in the next three weeks.

“The league’s case, meaning its testimony in the case against Orlando Pirates, arising from its denial of the chairman of TS Galaxy entry into the stadium at Orlando, was finalised today (Tuesday),” said Majavu. “The matter is now postponed to March 23 and 24 for further hearings where Orlando Pirates will now lead its own testimony in defence.

“The [disciplinary committee] issued an express directive that the matter will not be postponed further. Both parties were directed to ensure the matter is finalised on those two dates.”

On the other hand, Amakhosi’s case for not fulfilling two of their fixtures, also in December 2021, is yet to come to a definite resolution as well.

Following a Covid-19 outbreak at the team’s headquarters in Naturena, which affected no fewer than 36 staff members, Chiefs shut down the Village. Subsequently, with some of those affected being players and members of the technical team, the Soweto giants opted against honouring their consecutive fixtures against Golden Arrows and Cape Town City at the tail-end of 2021.

They had initially approached the PSL’s football department to have four of their games during that period rescheduled, including the aforementioned two. This request was denied.

They were then referred to the league’s executive committee, which also turned down Amakhosi’s request on the basis of contingency rules set in 2020 after the arrival of Covid-19.

As different sporting codes scrambled to finish off seasons that had been curtailed by the pandemic, they drafted new rules around the prevailing global conditions. One of those from the PSL decreed that the pandemic would not constitute the “exceptional circumstances” which the league requires to call off games.

Majavu has said the matter is likely to resume on any day between 28 March and 1 April. If Chiefs win the case, Cape Town City or Arrows – who stand to potentially gain points from Amakhosi being punished – might contest that decision.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor also shared that Royal AM and Chippa United have each been charged for fielding ineligible players in recent matches.

“Royal AM has also been charged and will be appearing before the PSL [disciplinary committee] on 7 March 2022, to answer to charges of fielding an ineligible player in the name of Philani Khumalo who was ineligible to play, having received four cautions,” stated Majavu.

“Chippa United will also be appearing before the PSL [disciplinary committee] to answer to similar charges in that they fielded a player, Ridwaan Serfontein, who had received four cautions. That matter will be heard on 3 March.” DM

 

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