City's battle with PSL over shirt sponsorship could be heard in March

Cape Town City have found a sponsor for the next four years with betting company SportPesa adding the Premier Soccer League club to its stable of overseas clubs who wear their logo on their shirt.
Cape Town City have found a sponsor for the next four years with betting company SportPesa adding the Premier Soccer League club to its stable of overseas clubs who wear their logo on their shirt.
Image: BackpagePix

The arbitration in the matter of Cape Town City signing a shirt sponsorship deal with betting company SportPesa might only be heard in the second half of March.

An initial a hearing was scheduled for February 7‚ but postponed because both City chairman John Comitis and his attorney were indisposed.

The PSL has amended the charge sheet and Comitis is now also part of the proceedings‚ along with City.

This being a full-blown arbitration‚ Comitis and City‚ in terms of the Arbitration Act‚ must provide their defences to the arbitrator beforehand‚ resulting in much paperwork to be completed‚ hence the next hearing might come as far as late March.

City face the possibility‚ as a worst-case scenario‚ of expulsion or relegation from the PSL.

The PSL asserts that a resolution was passed eight years ago that no club would sign a sports betting company as a sponsor without permission until the league had carried out an investigation into the issue.

This investigation was never carried out.

City did not ask permission to sign the deal with SportPesa.

A charge of defiance in National Soccer League rules can see the club expelled if found guilty.

City have also continued to wear the SportPesa logo on their shirts‚ despite never having‚ as required by PSL rules‚ the kit approved by the league‚ and having been directly instructed not to.

This could result in City being deducted three points per game where they have worn the kit‚ and automatic relegation to the National First Division.

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