Spare a thought for the Ajax Cape Town squad. Just imagine how the uncertainty of the club’s situation has affected them. Officially, according to the PSL, they have been relegated. But, in court, the fight goes on as Ajax continue the battle to retain their PSL status.
Having lost the Tendai Ndoro case at the second arbitration hearing two weeks ago – after the issue of the Zimbabwean striker playing for three clubs in a season had dragged on for months – the arbitrator’s decision led to Ajax being docked nine points. As a result, they dropped down to last in the PSL and were relegated to the First Division.
But that won’t be the end of the matter. This case still has miles to run. While the Cape club’s application to the High Court to interdict the promotion playoffs was dismissed – their place in this mini-league has since been taken by second-from-bottom Platinum Stars – the second part of the appeal to the court, to review the arbitrator’s verdict, has still to take place.
A decision on this is only expected sometime next month, which is why Ajax have allowed the squad to take a short holiday, returning to training on June 11.
For the Ajax players, this is where the situation gets rather tricky. They just don’t know what to do with their time off. Because, if Ajax win and the arbitrator’s decision is overturned, then the current playoffs may have to be replayed. And whoever wins the current playoffs will surely not want to go through them all over again; and that will lead to an administrative nightmare for the PSL.
On the other hand, if Ajax lose the case, they have vowed to take it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. “Mentally, it messes you up,” said young goalkeeper Jody February. “We are now on a break, but we don’t know whether we have to enjoy your holiday or not, or whether we have to be ready if something happens in court; because there is still a possibility that we will have to compete in the playoffs – if the club wins the case.
Some of the players may have had plans to go away, but now they can’t because, if the court rules in our favour, then we have to be ready to go. All of this just plays with the mind.”
Also, with Ajax’s struggle, and with all the uncertainty, the vultures are already starting to hover, ready to pounce to capture their most promising players. There has even recently been a rumour that Kaizer Chiefs are interested in the services of the promising February, but the Ajax keeper said: “That’s nonsense. I certainly know nothing about it.”