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Ajax fight on, court reserve judgment

Tendai Ndoro.
Tendai Ndoro.
Image: Chris Ricco

Ajax Cape Town failed to stop the PSL promotion/relegation play-offs from going ahead yesterday after taking the matter to court.

The Urban Warriors had their backs against the wall from the onset in their attempt to interdict the playoffs that started with the Black Leopards and Platinum Stars clash in Thohoyandou. Leopards won 1-0.

Ajax have been automatically relegated following arbitrator William Mokhari SC's decision to dock them seven points. This relates to Ajax fielding Tendai Ndoro in eight matches since they signed him from Saudi club, Al Faisaly, in January.

Fifa rules prohibit players from playing official matches for more than two clubs in one season. Ndoro has played for three; Orlando Pirates, Al Faisaly and Ajax.

Following Mokhari's verdict, Ajax went back to the South Gauteng High court in Johannesburg, where they asked Judge Raylene Keightley to set aside Mokhari's award and stop the play-offs.

With the match in Thohoyandou starting at 3pm, Ajax were racing against time and even when their lawyer Norman Arendse tried everything to convince Keightley that the matter was urgent. , Keightley was having none of it, insisting she needed time to listen to all the parties concerned.

"This case is like a dispute over a dead body at a funeral," Keightley stated, before apologising for using the analogy. This suggested that yesterday's match was impossible to stop.

To make matters worse for Ajax, the Premier Soccer League, who filed opposing papers with support from Platinum Stars and SuperSport United, asked the judge for time to file their answering affidavit, which delayed proceedings.

AmaZulu, who have lost their top eight spot to SuperSport, were in Ajax's corner.

After a few hours, judgement was reserved and the ruling is expected tomorrow. This will just be a couple of days before the Jomo Cosmos and Leopards play-off on Sunday.

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