CAPE TOWN - A shroud of uncertainty hovers over Ajax Cape Town’s magnificent 3-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night. Because of the inclusion of Zimbabwean striker Tendai Ndoro on the team sheet, the Cape side is likely to face a boardroom battle to keep hold of the points.
To briefly sketch the background to the controversy, Fifa rules state that a player may register with three clubs in one season, but may only play official matches for two of the clubs.
The Zimbabwean striker has this season played for Pirates, Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia and Ajax. On Wednesday morning, though, the PSL’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) ruled in favour of the Cape club and Ndoro was cleared to play. Hours later, however, the PSL itself disagreed with its own DRC and announced that it would be appealing the decision. Ajax stuck to their guns, in that they had been given the all-clear with regards to Ndoro, and picked him to play against Pirates.
The Soweto club, fully aware that the Ndoro matter was not yet concluded because of the PSL’s appeal, protested against the inclusion of the player in the Ajax team.
The game went ahead, Ajax emerged victorious, but, rest assured, the case is far from over. It will continue in the boardroom. Ajax coach Muhsin Ertugral couldn’t really concern himself with the matter because all the Cape club can do now is to await the outcome of the PSL’s appeal and then decide on the next step, if any. The coach was just happy with the win and the manner in which his team played.
“I’m not in administration, I’m a technical person,” said Ertugral. “I was given the go-ahead to play Ndoro, and that was what I did. It was told to us (by the DRC decision) that we could use him. And I couldn’t wait to use him.
“The PSL and Pirates have a right to appeal, and we’ll see what comes out of it, but I had the go-ahead from my side. At the moment, it’s out of our hands as we await the outcome of the appeal.”
Ertugral, though, shed some light on his own thoughts on the matter: “In my opinion, there is a player who plays in this country, then goes to another outside country. He then comes back to this country, to another club, and he is playing for two clubs, but under one federation. So that should be thought out properly, and I think the federation (DRC) thought that way too, which is why Ndoro was cleared.”
Next up for Ajax is a trip to the Limpopo Province to face Polokwane City on Sunday afternoon (3.30pm) - and Ertugral will have to check with his medical staff before deciding on the travelling party. Ajax lost two players to injury during the Pirates match - goalkeeper Brandon Petersen and captain Mosa Lebusa.