Thursday Night Live with Marawa producers deny gagging Ajax boss

Ari Efstathiou, (Ajax Cape Town CEO) and Muhsin Ertugral, Coach of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 Ajax Cape Town training session and press conference at Ikamva, Cape Town on 9 May 2018.
Ari Efstathiou, (Ajax Cape Town CEO) and Muhsin Ertugral, Coach of Ajax Cape Town during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 Ajax Cape Town training session and press conference at Ikamva, Cape Town on 9 May 2018.
Image: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

The producer of Robert Marawa’s SuperSport 4 football television show has denied any ulterior reason for Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou’s appearance on Thursday night being cancelled at the last minute.

This was after Ajax tweeted on Thursday evening that Efstathiou had been at Cape Town International Airport‚ ready to fly to Johannesburg to appear on ‘Thursday Night Live with Marawa’.

Ajax said the CEO was then called by producer Sifiso Mbambo and informed he had been withdrawn from the show.

Mbambo said Efstathiou’s appearance was cancelled because the producer did not have time to arrange for other involved parties in the Tendai Ndoro eligibility matter‚ which has seen points deducted from Ajax resulting in their relegation from the Premier Soccer League (PSL)‚ to also appear.

“I spoke to both parties – Robert and Ari – in this regard‚ and the way that I presented the case to Ari is simple‚” Mbambo said.

“I said: ‘If I offer you a platform without Safa and the PSL and the person who made the judgment‚ it would be one-sided’.

“So then he feels that he is being denied.

“For us to pull the story through we need these other stakeholders. If there’s only one‚ then what are we doing?”

Ajax had posted a tweet on their official Twitter page that suggested the cancellation of Efstathiou’s appearance on the show was for reasons of gagging the truth.

The club’s tweet read: “Ajax CT CEO Ari Efstathiou – waiting to board flight to JHB to appear on Thursday Night Live with Marawa – only to be informed by Sifiso Mbambo‚ Supersport Producer‚ that he has been withdrawn from the show.

“People will be denied the true story of the #Ndoro matter.”

The text appeared above a photo image of a man gagged.

Soon after tweeting that Efstathiou would not appear on Marawa’s television show‚ Ajax posted another announcement on Twitter that the club’s CEO would appear on Thomas Mlambo’s Thursday evening MetroFM radio Ultimate Sport Show.

Ndoro’s eligibility matter‚ regarding a Fifa rule that a player may not turn out for more than two clubs in a season‚ was ruled against Ajax by Safa arbitrator William Mokhari.

Ajax had seven points deducted‚ and previously last-placed Platinum Stars three added‚ resulting in the Urban Warriors dropping into the last-placed relegation position.

Ajax have gone to the Johannesburg High Court seeking an interdict halting the PSL’s promotion-relegation playoffs pending an appeal.

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