Ari Efstathiou (right), CEO of Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - The Premier Soccer League (PSL) finds itself in a race against time after the South Gauteng High Court on Monday ruled in favour of Ajax Cape Town in the saga regarding the eligibility of Zimbabwean striker Tendai Ndoro.

The new PSL season is only a month away, and the PSL will now have to make a decision on how to resolve this matter. On Monday, Judge Denise Fischer set aside the verdict of arbitrator William Mokhari and handed the Ndoro matter back to the Fifa Players’ Status Committee (PSC) to make a final ruling on the issue.

In Mokhari’s earlier verdict, he docked Ajax nine points, causing them drop to last on the PSL log and relegated to the First Division. Now, a High Court Judge has declared his ruling to be of no consequence - and Ajax are restored to their original position of 15th on the 16-team PSL log. They are in the play-off position, which means that the play-offs which took place, and were won by Black Leopards, is now null and void. Judge Fischer also emphasised that only the Fifa PSC has jurisdiction over the Ndoro case.

In a statement, the PSL said it was still studying the judgment before responding more fully: “The PSL has noted the judgement handed down by Judge Fisher in the High Court. The relief that was sought from the court was the setting aside of Advocate Mokhari SC’s misconduct award with orders that Ajax Cape Town should be in 15th position on the final league table, and that the promotion play-offs be set aside.

“Judge Fisher set aside Advocate Mokhari’s award, but declined to hand down the other relief sought. It is necessary for the league to properly consider the meaning and effect of the judgment before making any further comment on the matter. The judgment and advice of the league’s advisers will be considered by the PSL Executive Committee and the appropriate steps will be taken in due course.”

Ajax were also in discussions with their legal advisers as to the ramification of the verdict. “Ajax Cape Town are naturally very pleased with Judge Fisher’s ruling to set aside Advocate Mokhari’s award. The club will make further comment once full clarity on Judge Fisher’s judgment is received from its legal team,” said club chief executive Ari Efstathiou.

The Ndoro case has to do with the Zimbabwean striker having played for three clubs during the season - Orlando Pirates, Saudia Arabian club Al Faisaly and Ajax - which is against FIFA rules.

Cape Times

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