Absa Premiership

Khoza sees end to playoff saga

2013-06-20 18:30
Irvin Khoza (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Premier Soccer League (PSL) chair Irvin Khoza has expressed confidence on Thursday that the National First Division (NFD) playoffs will soon be concluded.

With the results of the playoffs still pending, after a series of legal setbacks, the NFD was unable to declare Polokwane City the winner of the league.

Earlier this week, NFD outfit Thanda Royal Zulu sought the help of the High Court in Johannesburg to have the playoff matches called off.

"There are a lot of pending cases in the courts affecting Thanda Royal Zulu in the league," Khoza said at the draw for the Premiership 2013/14 fixtures in Johannesburg.

"That matter has been referred to an arbitrator."

The PSL had ruled matches boycotted by NFD clubs at the beginning of the season would not be played, and no points would be awarded.

Thanda disputed the ruling and claimed the arbitration process was unfair, wanting the matches in question to be replayed and points awarded accordingly.

The court found in favour of Thanda, and ruled the matter be taken back for a relook by an arbitrator.

Royal Zulu missed out on the playoffs, on the last day of the season, after a 1-1 draw with Mpumalanga Black Aces.

If the cancelled fixtures are replayed, there will be substantial implications for the top of the log.

Khoza said Chippa United, one of the three teams in the NFD playoffs, had applied for an urgent interdict against the PSL, in an attempt to have the playoffs scrapped.

"In a meeting with the executive [committee], I was told that there is an urgent matter which is set down for this afternoon [Thursday] in the Cape Town High Court, where Chippa United are going for an urgent interdict against the playoffs," Khoza said.

"The league has taken the decision to defend that matter but, unfortunately for now, we do not have that paperwork. We are working with our lawyers as to what that basis is for the urgent interdict. I can only guess that it might have to do with the playoffs."

Khoza said Chippa were within their rights to challenge the matter, but he was confident the PSL would win the case, and that the playoffs would be allowed to continue as planned.

"There may be implications affecting Chippa and they are within their rights to go to court, but as the PSL, we are going to do the right thing and defend the matter to ensure that we proceed with the playoffs," he said.

Meanwhile, the playoffs are scheduled to go ahead on Thursday evening, with Black Aces facing Santos at Cape Town Stadium.

Earlier, PSL champions Kaizer Chiefs were drawn to face the winners of the NFD playoffs in their opening game of the new season, when it gets underway in the first week of August.

As it stands, Mpumalanga Black Aces lead both Chippa United and Santos by two points, and are favourites to gain entry to the country's top-tier.

Read more on:    psl  |  irvin khoza  |  johannesburg ­  |  soccer

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