Absa Premiership

Striker Ndoro hits back

2018-04-01 10:24
Tendai Ndoro (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Ajax Cape Town striker Tendai Ndoro has appealed the ruling to stop him from playing.

Ndoro has brought an urgent court interdict against arbitrator Nassir Cassim’s decision to bar him from playing pending the outcome of his eligibility case.

On Thursday, a day after Cassim’s findings, Ndoro made an appeal at the Johannesburg High Court to hear the matter urgently. It has been set down for Tuesday.

PSL legal adviser Michael Murphy said the league would oppose the application.

Ndoro has played for three clubs – Orlando Pirates, Saudi Arabian club Al-Faisaly and Ajax – contravening Fifa’s regulations on the status and transfer of players.

Cassim ruled that, “pending the outcome of a decision by Fifa, Ndoro should not play any further fixtures for Ajax in the league”.

Ndoro challenged his finding and wants to play on Tuesday against AmaZulu. He said if the interdict was not granted, he would be unable to play against Usuthu.

“The inability to play this match cannot be undone after the fact. I am an integral part of the Ajax squad and preventing me from playing could cause irrevocable consequences for Ajax. Should Ajax lose or draw the game, then that result cannot be undone in the future. What is more, Ajax faces relegation and needs every point it can get in its remaining games this season. My right to work is under threat,” he said in his application.

Cassim ruled that the PSL Dispute Resolution Chamber, which had cleared Ndoro earlier and allowed him to play, did not have jurisdiction on the matter.

Ndoro wants the court to review and set aside the ruling and immediately remit the dispute between the parties. He would like it to be heard by the Safa Arbitration Tribunal.

“This application essentially concerns whether a dispute [about] my status, [which] has been lawfully, equitably and constitutionally resolved by the Dispute Resolution Chamber.

“What is in question is my ability to play for Ajax for the remainder of this season. This question arises [from] a series of unfortunate circumstances in Saudi Arabia. But the key issue in this case is whether I should continue suffering irreparable harm arising from an unlawful and unconstitutional decision to suspend me from playing football. I have been properly registered by the NSL [National Soccer League], have a valid contract and I am otherwise eligible to play. My right to work and my dignity is at stake,” he said.

In his submission, the 32-year-old Zimbabwean said he was going “through the most horrible experience of my life as a professional footballer”.

“My monthly salary was not paid for four months. On or about December 16 2017, I inquired about the balance of my outstanding salary. I had an awful encounter with the president of the club [Al-Faisaly]. He threatened me and told me to forget about the balance owing as Al-Faisaly would terminate the employment contract if I kept asking questions about my salary.

“These are the circumstances under which I left Al-Faisaly and joined Ajax. My career and ability to earn a living was under threat. I was forced to leave Al-Faisaly to ensure that I continued to play football and earn a living while I am still able to play the game at a professional level.”

In his findings, Cassim said: “In argument, there was a consensus that this is a status matter. It concerns the eligibility of Ndoro’s capacity to play for Ajax in the 2017/18 football season. It is unrelated to his registration with the NSL.”

But Ndoro said he believed the Dispute Resolution Chamber had jurisdiction over the case.

“In terms of my registration as a player, which binds me to the NSL Handbook [rules], I had a right to have my dispute settled quickly, fairly and effectively by the Dispute Resolution Chamber.”

Ndoro said the matter would affect him psychologically: “The more time I am kept in this stage of uncertainty and limbo, the more psychological and emotional turmoil I experience. As a professional athlete, my mental condition needs to be focused on my training and playing. Yet the longer I am prevented from playing, and the longer this dispute continues, the more harm I experience to my form as a professional footballer.

“Finally, the inability to play has brought harm to my reputation and ability to potentially find employment at another club. I am being treated as a if I have done something wrong and acted in bad faith.”

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