Premier Soccer League chairman Irvin Khoza has leapt to the defence of the association following the latest twist in the ongoing Tendai Ndoro saga. The PSL has come under scrutiny due to their handling of the matter relating to Ndoro’s eligibility after his completed switch to Ajax Cape Town in January.
The Zimbabwean international was registered with his third club in the 2017-18 season without being red flagged as having already played for two clubs, which is the maximum prescribed by world governing body FIFA.
Ajax then proceeded to field the striker, who had played for Orlando Pirates and Al Faisaly in Saudi Arabia, contravening the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.
This wreaked havoc as the PSL appealed a controversial Dispute Resolution Chamber decision which cleared the 33-year-old to continue playing, before SAFA Arbitrator Nassir Cassim SC further referred the matter to FIFA while ordering Ndoro to stop playing.
In the interim, Ajax sought relief in court to field their on-form attacker at the time as they looked to escape the relegation zone, but these matters were subsequently thrown out by the South Gauteng High Court.
A final SAFA arbitration hearing by Adv. William Mokhari then ruled that the Cape-based side were to be docked seven points for matches in which Ndoro featured, subsequently relegating the club automatically after they had initially qualified for the play-offs.
Earlier this week, Ajax were handed a favourable outcome in their third appeal at court to set aside Mokhari’s award, with the PSL now looking to further appeal this judgement.
With six months having lapsed since the matter first came to the attention of the League, and the end still far from sight, Khoza insisted this has not blemished the association in the least.
“It’s not damaging because there’s no adverse decision against the League,” defended Khoza.
“Because, at the moment, the judge said that she cannot rule on the eligibility (of Ndoro), which is where the starting point was. If ever there was a (different) judgement on the eligibility, then you would say there’s damage.
“You must remember that all the cases that had attended arbitration were found to be correct in so far as doing away with the judgement of the DRC, and saying we are right in terms of jurisdiction.”
Khoza further emphasised that the current judgment, which is set to be appealed by the League, now affords engagement of each of the member clubs at the Board of Governors meeting set for Thursday, July 12.
“Judge Unterhalter also gave us a decision, so this one affords the members to exercise their options. We’ll advise the option that is best, which is the one we are proposing to them (to appeal the decision),” he added.
“It’s now for them to give us the directive. They might decide, “No, go that route,” which we are most comfortable to do as well. Whichever route we will take, we are comfortable with but we are here to make sure that we safeguard the interests of the members.
“Obviously when we engage them to say why it is that we chose this route (to appeal), I think they will understand better that it is within their interests that we take this route instead of the other.”