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HomeDStv PremiershipAri - It Was Injustice To Relegate Ajax

Ari – It Was Injustice To Relegate Ajax

Cape Town Spurs boss Ari Efstathiou has revisited their relegation in the 2017/18 season, saying it was ‘totally unfair’.

He reaffirmed that they were given a green light by the PSL to register Tendai Ndoro, who was playing for his third club in one season, which was in violation of FIFA rules that a player cannot play for three clubs in one season.

Ndoro started that season with Orlando Pirates, but he was sold to Saudi Arabian side Al Faisaly.

But in Asia, Ndoro was not paid money for months, terminating his contract.

He then came back in the second half of that season to join Ajax Cape Town as the club was known then, featuring in seven league matches where the club got a point in each of those games.

Then all points they earned in the matches Ndoro played were docked, resulting in relegation.

But Efstathiou is adamant that they were given permission to use Ndoro by the PSL’s own Dispute Resolution Chamber.  

Tendai Ndoro of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 12 January 2018 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

“We received a back end of the situation when we got relegated, which was unfair and unreasonable,” said Efstathiou.

“It was totally unfair. We were given permission to play him and it was not our fault. The only reason we didn’t carry on with the case, we ran out of time and the league objected to us having our hearing renewed later at the start of the season.

“They didn’t wait for that and frankly that would have taken us one or two-year situation and that wouldn’t have been worth it.

“But the bottom line is, we won the court case, they appealed, so it was totally unfair, absolutely injustice.

“It happened to the club recently, a similar situation, I don’t want to name the club and they were just smacked on the hand. But yet we got relegated and it took us five years to get back.”

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The Urban Warriors, under a different name as Cape Town Spurs now, are back in the top flight.

They were promoted to the PSL top flight after they drew against Maritzburg United in the play-offs a few weeks ago, which saw the Team of Choice relegated to the Motsepe Foundation Championship.  

Efstathiou said it has been a struggle to come back, looking drenched by those five years in the second tier.  

“Even in those five years, to run a professional, honest club every single time, it was not easy,” said the club’s chairman, who was the CEO then.

“And we have fought situations and I don’t need to tell you that it was clear from day to day [that we were up against it].

“It happened (when Ashley Cupido was sent off against Casric Stars), week before the game against Maritzburg United.”

He added: “Being there, I have lost a fortune of money but it is not about that.”    

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.