FILE - PSL chairman, Irvin Khoza. Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
FILE - PSL chairman, Irvin Khoza. Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Boardroom battle to decide the GladAfrica Championship title race

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published May 21, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – After the PSL's Executive Committee issued a media statement on Friday afternoon, the stage is set for another Premier Soccer League (PSL) boardroom battle to decide the GladAfrica Championship title race and subsequent Premiership promotion.

On Wednesday, the PSL disciplinary committee awarded Sekhukhune United three points after Polokwane City were found guilty of contravening the rules of the GladAfrica Championship. They failed to include five Under-23 players on their team sheet against Sekhukhune earlier this year in January.

Usually, the PSL would regard the findings of its disciplinary committee as final and binding, so it came as a surprise when on Friday it announced that "it is the view of the League (PSL) that it is not correct".

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It is hard to believe that the executive committee will attempt to undermine the independence of their judicial tribunal by offering a different view on the matter.

After the disciplinary committee awarded Sekhukhune three points, they joined Real Kings at the top of the log, each with 50 points. However, Sekhukhune have a better goal difference and are therefore in the No 1 slot.

Should the executive committee reverse the decision, Sekhukhune's chances of automatic promotion will be compromised.

The PSL statement reads: 'On 19 May 2021, a ruling was handed down in the arbitration between Sekhukhune United Football Club and Polokwane City Football Club. The arbitration ruling has created uncertainty in relation to the discretion afforded to the PSL Disciplinary Committee to determine an appropriate sanction for acts of misconduct in each case.

'It has always been the position that the PSL Disciplinary Committee is required to consider the range of sanctions available for acts of misconduct and then exercise discretion as to what the appropriate sanction should be in each case.

'An urgent special meeting of the Executive Committee of the PSL was convened to consider the matter. It is the view of the League that it is not correct, as the arbitration ruling holds, that the PSL Disciplinary Code is silent and that the Disciplinary Committee had to impose a mandatory sanction under the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

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'The FIFA Disciplinary Code may only be reverted to when the PSL Handbook is silent on an issue. In this particular case, the PSL Handbook is not silent and provides the Disciplinary Committee with the discretion to consider a range of sanctions.

'The PSL is aware of the confusion that has been created as a result of the arbitration award. The PSL is in the process of considering several options and has been in communication with all Member Clubs in this regard.

'We confirm that the final matches taking place this weekend will proceed as planned.'

The final paragraph of the statement suggests the executive committee will not a final call before the final round of matches kick-off Sunday.

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If that is the case, the promotion and teams for the play-offs will not be decided when matches end on Sunday.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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