JOHANNESBURG – The Premier Soccer League (PSL) held a press conference on Tuesday to announce the date and venue for the Nedbank Cup final, as well as to clarify their disciplinary procedures.
PSL chairman Dr Irvin Khoza announced that the 2019 Nedbank Cup final will take place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on Saturday, May 18.
The end-of-season PSL awards will be held in the same city a day later, at the International Convention Centre on Sunday, May 19.
Also speaking at the press conference on Tuesday was PSL prosecutor Nande Becker.
Before giving the stage to Becker, Khoza explained to the media that the PSL Disciplinary Committee (DC) functions independently to the league’s executive committee.
Becker spoke at length about his role as the PSL prosecutor, explaining mainly the logistics of his job including the high volumes of PSL cases that he takes on (from the 16 Premiership and 16 National First Division clubs), which is on top of the private practising he does as an attorney.
He also mentioned how fixture changes and postponements – sometimes caused by clubs having their league fixtures rescheduled due to domestic cup or African cup competitions – can cause delays in disciplinary hearings taking place.
Becker added that he did not feel it was in his job description to inform the media of the details of all his PSL cases, “unless requested by the CEO”, as he put it.
While there are currently numerous PSL DC cases pending, the one on everyone’s lips is the case against Mamelodi Sundowns, who were last week found guilty of using an illegible player – defender Wayne Arendse, who played in the 1-1 draw against Wits in October, despite not having been included on the original team sheet.
There has been a public outcry as to why this specific hearing – which could affect who goes on to win the league title, took so long.
According to Becker, it was because the courts were in recess from December 15 until January 15, and because of a succession of postponements after that.
There was a similar problem last season when Ajax Cape Town, who were ultimately relegated, had to wait long after the season had ended to find out their fate.
When asked if the PSL should consider appointing a fulltime prosecutor, Becker sidestepped the question by again referring to the unpredictable nature of soccer fixtures in this country and the amount of cases he has to deal with.
He did confirm that this week Friday, April 12, will be the date that Sundowns’ punishment is handed down.
Becker said he will “rely heavily on previous rulings” (with regards to penalties for teams using ineligible players), but also admitted the outcome will ultimately lie in the hands of the DC Committee.