Drama after Ajax told to agree to arbitration hearing before Chiefs showdown

Tendai Ndoro, 29, has already played four matches for the club, but this is in contravention of Fifa rules, because he has already played for two other clubs - Orlando Pirates and Al Faisaly - this season.
Tendai Ndoro, 29, has already played four matches for the club, but this is in contravention of Fifa rules, because he has already played for two other clubs - Orlando Pirates and Al Faisaly - this season.
Image: Chris Ricco

In a dramatic twist to the on-going saga around Tendai Ndoro‚ the Premier Soccer League (PSL) are demanding that Ajax Cape Town agree to an arbitration hearing before the end of the week even as the club prepares for one of the most important games in their history.

A letter from PSL prosecutor Nande Becker‚ sent to the clubs on Tuesday‚ insisted that Ajax agree to an arbitration hearing as “in view of the most urgency” on Thursday and Friday or‚ if necessary even on the weekend‚ to put the Ndoro matter to bed before next week’s kick off of the end- of-season promotion-relegation play-offs.

This is despite the club looking to focus their energies as they head to Saturday’s must-win match against Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium where they are hoping to avoid finishing second last in the PSL standings‚ and being forced into the play-offs.

The PSL prosecutor insisted that Ajax must accept the first of three arbitrators who have been put forward for them to choose from‚ because the other two are not available this week.

Parties to an arbitration are given a choice of three arbitrators‚ usually senior advocates‚ to hear the matter and if they can agree the South African Football Association (SAFA) makes the choice.

The Ndoro matter is headed back for a second arbitration‚ arranged by SAFA‚ after the first arbitration said the PSL DRC had no jurisdiction over the matter and that it should be sorted out by FIFA.

But world football’s governing body FIFA have twice kicked the matter back‚ saying South African football’s fulsome legal structures should resolve the on-going saga.

The last correspondence from FIFA‚ rejecting a second PSL bid to get them to rule in the matter‚ was sent on April 24‚ more than two weeks ago.

This raises questions about the sudden urgency on the part of the PSL when the new arbitration process could have been set up much quicker.

The issue of whether Ndoro should have played for Ajax in seven matches this season has dominated the legal agenda since January‚ but still without resolution in a saga that is becoming increasingly embarrassing for the league.

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