CAPE TOWN – Here’s the message from Ajax Cape Town: The Tendai Ndoro saga is far from over.
Ajax chief executive Ari Efstathiou had an impromptu session with journalists at the club’s pre-game press conference on Monday afternoon.
The Ajax boss stressed that so much of the reporting around the matter has been superficial and lacking in understanding of the complexity of the case.
To sketch the background again: Ndoro has this season played 12 minutes for Orlando Pirates, spent a few months with Saudi Arabian side Al Faisaly (where he wasn’t paid at all) and then signed and played for Ajax.
According to Fifa rules, a player cannot turn out for three clubs in one season. When confronted with the issue in January, Ajax sought clarity from the PSL, but the executive wasn’t sure and wanted legal opinion on the matter.
They asked Ajax to not play Ndoro while they got legal opinion. But Ajax, because they know how the PSL can drag its feet on an issue, took the case to the Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) to get an expedited decision.
The DRC ruled that Ndoro could play. The PSL then appealed the DRC’s decision and took the matter to arbitration. At the same time, clubs against whom Ndoro played protested against his presence.
At a Disciplinary Committee (DC) hearing, the protests were dismissed. Meanwhile, at the arbitration hearing, the case was referred to Fifa, with the arbitrator ruling that the DRC had no jurisdiction over the case.
Ajax took the matter to the South Gauteng High Court for an urgent interdict, which was dismissed. But, and here’s the crux of it all, while the interdict was dismissed, the judge granted Ajax an urgent review of the arbitrator’s verdict.
The PSL has since sent its documentation to Fifa. Ajax have, as yet, not sent in their papers – they are waiting on the High Court's written judgement, which will they use as a basis for their submission to the world governing body.
“It’s clear that this rule is a mess,” said Efstathiou. “The DRC and DC agreed with us, the arbitrator disagreed, and then the High Court judge is not sure of the arbitrator’s decision… But let me assure you that we wouldn’t be doing this if we weren’t sure that we are right.
“Once we have the written judgement from the High Court, we will be going back to court to apply for an urgent review of the arbitrator’s decision. That is where we are at the moment. The case is far from finished.”