Royal AM chairman Andile Mpisane celebrates with his team after they finished the GladAfrica Championship season in first place after their draw against Cape Town All Stars at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday. Steve Haag/BackpagePix
Royal AM chairman Andile Mpisane celebrates with his team after they finished the GladAfrica Championship season in first place after their draw against Cape Town All Stars at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday. Steve Haag/BackpagePix

Royal AM win promotion, but ...

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published May 23, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – KwaZulu-Natal side Royal AM have won promotion to the Premiership – but their celebrations could still be destroyed by a legal tussle.

The GladAfrica Championship season ended under a cloud of uncertainty after the PSL decided against a trophy hand-over to the NFD winners.

Earlier on Sunday, SuperSport informed that there would not be a NFD trophy presentation at Chatsworth Stadium or at Giant Stadium.

The two venues were under the spotlight because of the two NFD matches played there on Sunday. In Chatsworth, Royal AM drew 1-1 with Cape Town Stars, while in Pretoria, Sekhukhune United defeated JDR Stars 3-1.

The NFD log after 30 rounds shows Royal AM on top with 51 points. In second place with 50 points is the Pretoria-based side Sekhukhune.

After the completion of Sunday’s matches, the PSL issued a statement saying: “The Premier Soccer League has been threatened and served with Court papers in relation to an arbitration award handed down impacting the GladAfrica Championship table.

“The matter must clearly be ventilated one way or the other and resolved. The league responsibility is to properly consider the matter and take advice to ensure that all disputes and differences are finalised urgently and without delay.

“While the matter remains in dispute, it is advisable to delay the GladAfrica Championship trophy handover for a short period to permit the league to consider the matter. The matches will continue, and the results will be arrived at, and the issues resolved.

“The league undertakes to resolve whatever issues there are as expeditiously as possible.”

The controversy has come about because the PSL executive has decided to act on the outcome of their own disciplinary committee in the case involving GladAfrica Championship team Sekhukhune and Polokwane City. The executive surprisingly announced that they were not happy with the disciplinary committee's decision.

Last Wednesday, the PSL's disciplinary committee decided that Sekhukhune be awarded three match points after Polokwane fell foul of the playing rules in a match played on January 2.

By the end of play on Sunday, the PSL did not publish an updated log that would have reflected the three points for Sekhukhune, in keeping with the disciplinary committee's decision.

According to PSL's statement, the executive will soon decide to award or not award the three points to Sekhukhune. If they award the points, Sekhukhune will end up league winners with 53 points.

Should they decide against awarding the points, Royal AM will be declared winners with 51 points.

The PSL executive's decision on who wins the NFD may not have mattered if Cape Town Stars had held for a 1-0 win. However, the situation changed dramatically when Royal AM scored a controversial penalty in injury time to claim a share of the spoils and a valuable point.

@Herman_Gibbs

IOL Sport

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