Absa Premiership

PSL relegation crisis an outcome of their own making

2018-07-06 14:28
Irvin Khoza (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - You might suitably compare the relegation crisis of their own making in which the Absa Premiership now finds itself to that of a car owner who agrees to loan his vehicle, then claims it has been stolen and finally goes on to lodge a charge of theft.

This is how one might evaluate what has come to be known widely and somewhat notoriously as "The Tendai Ndoro Case"  from which the League docked Ajax Cape Town 11 points for fielding the player and consequently doomed them to automatic relegation instead of bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars - this after the PSL's own Disciplinary Chamber had earlier agreed that Ajax were entitled to field the said striker.

And the issue was already bathed in controversy and questionable behaviour on the part of the PSL before the entire matter was turned on its head this week when Judge Fisher in the South Gauteng High Court over-ruled the Premier League demise of Ajax and left the question of relegation with no clear and unanimous conclusion.

By then, of course, the PSL had gone ahead with their promotion-relegation play-off involving Platinum Stars, second-placed NFD team Black Leopards and third-placed Jomo Cosmos to decide the final position in next season's top-flight, from which Black Leopards emerged the winners, with runaway NFD champions Highlands Park already securing undisputed promotion.

And on Thursday what one can only imagine to be an embarrassed PSL executive under chairperson Irvin Khoza sat down to clear up the mess they had initiated themselves and have come up with a decision to seek to appeal Judge Fisher's ruling.

What now? This is what soccer pundits are asking, with a suggestion that the PSL could have now come up with the cynical, face-saving proposal to increase the size of the Absa Premiership from the stabilised 16 teams, with Black Leopards, an obvious choice, Ajax and Platinum Stars all granted places in the premier division.

But, to all intents and purposes, Platinum Stars have already been relegated twice and to give them a third chance to save their skin would smack of an expedient injustice.

And there are other questions to ponder over. Would an extra two teams be relegated after the completion of the 2018/19 season and the number of Absa Premiership sides stabilised once more to 16 sides?

A more viable decision, under the circumstances, would be to let Ajax back into the Premier League through the backdoor to make up a 17-team League for one season before returning again to 16 the following season.

On the other hand, Judge Fisher has opened the door for FIFA to decide whether Ajax were entitled to field Ndoro under the prevailing circumstances in spite of him playing for two other clubs in the season.

But one should not forget that FIFA have already voiced the view that the matter should be sorted out domestically. And why should world soccer's controlling body change its mind now?

What is more, the relegation question does not mark the end of the morass, with SuperSport United fortuitously having replaced AmaZulu in next season's Top Eight competition as a result of the ungainly shuffling of points.

And with the PSL now planning to head back to the Courts, it's becoming even more odious!

Read more on:    absa premiership  |  soccer


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