Absa Premiership

Efstathiou in explosive rant against Ajax arbitration ruling

2018-05-18 06:50
Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou, in an explosive interview, has hit out at the arbitration ruling to dock the club points, resulting in relegation.

Click HERE to read the full tribunal statement

Efstathiou appeared on MetroFM's The Ultimate Sport Show and in a fiery 40-minute interview with Thomas Mlambo lambasted the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the ruling that resulted in the Cape side being relegated to the NFD.

The Urban Warriors were sensationally relegated from the Absa Premiership on Tuesday after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player, Tendai Ndoro, by the PSL.

Before moving forward Sport24 will seek to clarify the regulation on the transfer of players:

Simply put the FIFA law states a player may be registered by a maximum of three clubs but, may only play for two unless there are certain exceptions.

These exceptions are: A player moving between two clubs belonging to associations with overlapping seasons (i.e. start of the season in summer/autumn as opposed to winter/spring)

The Saudi Arabia soccer league runs from 10 August 2017 and concludes on 12 April 2018 with the Absa Premiership league starting 18 August 2017 and concludes on 12 May 2018 which does not meet this criteria.

An example of an overlapping league is Brazil's Serie A which starts 13 May 2017 and ended on 3 December 2017.

"The league handbook states that a player may not be registered if he does not comply with all the requirements in the National Soccer League handbook," Efstathiou said.

"If you get issued a card you can play.

"The PSL Executive were not clear on the eligibility rule and would give it to senior counsel to consider and it was advisable to not play the player against Free State Stars, which we followed.

"What we then decided because we were desperate for points was to go to the judicial body - the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) - to gain clarity and they ruled in our favour.

"Their reason stated clearly that the applicant [Ajax] was clear to play in all matches."

Efstathiou then hit out at the process followed by the PSL and insinuated that there are higher powers at play that resulted in their automatic relegation.

"The DRC [ruling finding in Ajax's favour] is clear in their reasons regarding the exception of overlapping and I won't give an opinion as you can clearly read their reasons and come to a conclusion.

"To be honest if we were aware of the complication of the rule we might not have transferred Ndoro but like everybody else including the Executive Committee we were not aware of the rule.

"So I probably wouldn't have taken the chance but now that means I get docked the maximum punishment that has never, never happened before.

"Tell me who got an advantage out of all of this? It certainly wasn't us because we got relegated. I can't say anything further than that because I will get into trouble.

"Has the PSL dealt with all the other cases regarding misconduct before the end of the season and why have they chased Ajax Cape Town for three or four months only?

"I have got to go to court to fight and I will do this to the best of my ability because I have a responsibility to everyone. I can't sit back and be cheated out of this situation.

"We are not cheats, we have never done anything to break the rules, we are a club of integrity and honour...we are not rubbish."


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Tuesday, 17 December 2019
Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns, Moses Mabhida Stadium 19:30
Friday, 20 December 2019
Wits v Cape Town City, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 21 December 2019
Highlands Park v Golden Arrows, Makhulong Stadium 15:30
Orlando Pirates v Black Leopards, Orlando Stadium 15:30
Baroka FC v Stellenbosch, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Polokwane City, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 18:00
Chippa United v SuperSport United, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:15
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 Absa Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.