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Sekhukhune Case To Decide PSL Promotion?

By Velile Mnyandu (@Velile_Mnyandu)

With only a few days before the curtain comes down on the 2020/2021 GladAfrica Championship season, another boardroom case is threatening to be influential in deciding the team that will gain direct promotion to the Premier Soccer League’s lucrative elite division. 

Second placed Gauteng based club Sekhukhune United is challenging the PSL disciplinary committee’s ruling to deduct points from Polokwane City for not having the required number of five U23 players in their team sheet, but not awarding the points to them. 

Sekhukhune, who are in their first season in the GAC, are arguing that because they had protested before this game, which they lost 1-0 on 02 January 2021, the points should not just be expunged by the league but also awarded to them. 

The matter will go to arbitration tomorrow morning and is expected to sit at 10am and it will be heard by Advocate Hilton Epstein SC and Sekhukhune will be represented by Advocate Norman Arendse. 

PSL prosecutor Nande Becker confirmed that this case will sit tomorrow, just few days the conclusion of the season with before Sekhukhune who find themselves three points behind Royal AM with the final game scheduled for this coming weekend. 

“Because they had played the game under protest, Sekhukhune United feel that the points should be awarded to them and that the game was serious enough. For them, it wasn’t good enough that Polokwane was sanctioned with a three-point deduction, they wanted the match to be given to them obviously with a single goal advantage,” said Becker. 

Asked on how the league has dealt previously with cases of similar nature, Becker pointed to a recent ruling from an arbitration which involved TS Sporting and Jomo Cosmos. 

“Recently the maybe you can make a note to this one as well, on Tuesday there was a similar appeal in front of Advocate Nazeer Cassim, that was TS Sporting vs Jomo Cosmos, the facts were very similar with regard to the number of u23 players being on the team sheet for the game. And TS Sporting also appealed because in that matter the DC had simply fined Cosmos for technical reasons not for protest, but at the same time only impose the fine on Cosmos. 

 “Cassim found that it would be inequitable to grant points to clubs in this division, at this stage of the season because it will protect other clubs playing matches on the pitch. So, there was only a fine there, no points were awarded for that.

Rule 35.2. of the National Soccer League (NSL) handbook is very clear, clubs participating in the National First Division must include in the team sheet for every match a minimum of five (5) players who are both u23 and eligible to represent South Africa. A minimum of two u23 players must be on the field of play at all times during a match.

iDiski Times understands that the PSL DC in recent weeks has been resembling a busy taxi rank on a Friday pay day afternoon, with clubs coming up with all sorts of cases as some are either trying to avoid relegation or contest promotion and a play-off spot, as it is usually the case at this stage of the season in this division. 

Sekhukhune who are campaigning in their first season at this level after they bought the status of Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila following the acquisition of the Bidvest Wits, would go to the top of the log on a superior goal difference, tied on 50 points with Royal AM, should they be successful in this case.  

Royal AM plays lowly placed Cape Town All Stars in the final game at home on Saturday whilst Sekhukhune will make a short trip to Pretoria to play JDR Stars, who are also chasing a promotional play-off spot.