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Beleaguered Ajax Cape Town to finally learn their PSL fate on Monday

Ari Efstathiou and Mushin Ertugral during the Ajax Cape Town training session and press conference at Ikamva on May 09, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Ari Efstathiou and Mushin Ertugral Ari Efstathiou and Mushin Ertugral during the Ajax Cape Town training session and press conference at Ikamva on May 09, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

Ajax Cape Town will learn their fate on Monday in their latest bid to be restored to 15th position in the Absa Premiership table and reverse their automatic relegation to the National First Division.

Judge Denise Fisher will hand down her verdict on the review to set aside the arbitration ruling of Advocate William Mokhari that saw Ajax lose points gained in matches against Platinum Stars‚ SuperSport United and Polokwane City last season‚ with the results handed to their opponents by 3-0 scorelines.

That had the effect of plunging Ajax to the foot of the Absa Premiership table and sealed their drop to the NFD‚ but the club are arguing that the verdict is unprecedented and too harsh.

It will also be a tense moment for the Premier Soccer League‚ who have already announced that the new season will start on August 3‚ but at this stage are not 100 percent sure of which teams will be competing.

If Fisher restores Ajax to 15th‚ it will mean that either the Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs‚ won earlier this month by Black Leopards‚ will need to be replayed‚ or the PSL will have to come up with another solution for the league next season.

This could include expanding the division to 18 teams for a single campaign‚ allowing Leopards to keep their recently earned status‚ but also saving the skin of Platinum Stars‚ who have recently announced their relocation to Cape Town under the name Cape Umoya United.

That is likely the only way to solve further legal challenges that would almost certainly delay the start of the new season and plunge an already tight fixture calendar into chaos.

If the PSL go ahead with a replay of the play-offs‚ that move will likely be challenged by Leopards.

If Fisher finds in Ajax’s favour‚ there could also be a challenge from SuperSport United‚ whose award of the three points from their 1-0 loss last season saw them elevated into the top eight and the potentially lucrative MTN8 competition for next season.

AmaZulu were the side to miss out because of that award and they have joined Ajax’s proceedings in court.

If the ruling goes against Ajax on Monday‚ the club has vowed to take the fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland‚ meaning it will not be the end of the matter and create further uncertainty ahead of the new campaign.

Ajax were docked points after they fielded Zimbabwe international striker Tendai Ndoro‚ making them his third club of the 2017/18 season and in contravention of FIFA rules.

Ajax claim there are extenuating circumstances though‚ including that they had a mandate to field the player from the PSL’s Dispute Resolution Chamber.

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