JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is keeping a close eye on the Tendai Ndoro saga which could have far-reaching implications in the Absa Premiership title race that the Brazilians currently lead.
Sundowns are one point ahead of second-placed Orlando Pirates but the Tshwane side have a game in hand.
The Buccaneers and Polokwane City lodged a protest with the Premier Soccer League ahead of their matches against Ajax Cape Town, questioning the eligibility of Ndoro.
The PSL dispute resolution chamber cleared Ajax for fielding the Zimbabwean forward who is with his third team in the same season, which is against Fifa rules. The PSL appealed the verdict and the matter was heard by the South African Football Association (Safa) as an arbitrator. Safa on Wednesday referred the matter to Fifa who have to issue the final verdict.
Should Ajax lose the case, Pirates and Rise and Shine could be awarded three points which would be a big boost for the Buccaneers.
“We will try to win the league the way we have been winning leagues before (with a big margin between us and the team in second place),” Mosimane said on Wednesday at the PSL’s headquarters in Parktown.
“We are focusing on our games because when you start looking and focusing on other people, you are losing the plot. What’s important for Sundowns is to concentrate on the games that we have to play.
"It’s in our hands. That’s the best position to be in. When you are chasing, you are forever hoping that the person at the top loses. There are too many things happening in that space. Yes, we are watching. What can we do? Just watch.
“We can afford to drop three points. I am not saying that’s comfortable (should that happen) but we can afford to lose three points. We will talk when the time comes. At this point in time we are in the lead.
Nedbank Cup Last 8 Press Conference : Mamelodi Sundowns Coach Pitso Mosimane https://t.co/hpI9joMDoG
"We can’t control things happening off the pitch. They are happening here (at the PSL boardroom). Our job is to play on the pitch.”
The Brazilians’ immediate focus is their Nedbank Cup quarter-final clash with Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.
What will follow is a gruelling league campaign that will see the Brazilians playing six matches in April. That tally could increase to seven should they advance to the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.
“I looked at the schedule and I said, 'wow, what’s happening now'?” Mosimane said. “This is going to test my character and the team’s character. But we’ve had this programme for the last four years. We know how to handle it.
"That’s why I said you can’t compare yourself with me who runs Comrades while you run a 42.2km marathon; 42.2km and 90km are totally different. You must run the same race as me and then we can talk. As long as you are running small races, you can’t talk. You can compare yourself to other people, not me.
"In the past we have given this programme names, calling it ‘tax’, ‘aluta continua’ and we even named it ‘against all odds’. Last year we lost the league by three points with this programme but the season before that we won the league with the same programme.
"This just makes us a stronger and bigger team. The difficulty is that you are running a race with well-rested teams. But it’s sweet when you win despite these challenges. You then say I am waiting for someone to do what we have done. These things take 25 years for other teams to do.”