AmaZulu bid to halt MTN8 struck off court roll
AmaZulu have failed in their bid to halt the quarterfinals of the MTN8 this weekend after their attempt to interdict the start of the competition was struck off the roll with costs in the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.
Usuthu wanted Judge Denise Fisher to delay the quarterfinals while the Premier Soccer League’s appeal against her earlier judgment setting aside the arbitration ruling of Advocate William Mokhari was heard.
AmaZulu are furious at the decision of Mokhari to not only strip Ajax Cape Town of the points in the Urban Warriors’ 1-0 win over SuperSport United last year for fielding striker Tendai Ndoro, but also award them to Matsatsantsa.
This had the effect of seeing defending champions SuperSport leapfrog into the top eight at the expense of AmaZulu and put the Tshwane side into contention for the lucrative R8-million first prize.
It would have been just the third time ever that Usuthu had finished in the top half of the league in the PSL era.AmaZulu’s legal representative, Johan Wesserman, had argued on Tuesday that Fisher should order the MTN8 to be postponed until the “Ndorogate” issue had been settled once and for all.
“We are only asking that you move the fixtures until the process of the appeal is completed‚” he said.“Arbitrator William Mokhari’s findings with regards to allocation of points to SuperSport United was wrong and AmaZulu has a right in terms of law to play in the MTN8 competition.
“Players have worked very hard‚ we have an obligation to our sponsors and this denies our players an opportunity to compete for the R8-million you get for winning the competition."
But the appeal process of the league against Fisher’s ruling could take many months and the judge has determined that it is better for the MTN8 to proceed as planned with the quarterfinals this weekend.
The competition will kick off as Mamelodi Sundowns host Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday afternoon, before Kaizer Chiefs entertain Free State Stars in the evening and Orlando Pirates welcome SuperSport United that night.
The last quarterfinal will be played on Sunday when Cape Town City travel to Maritzburg United.
Ajax fielded Ndoro in the last campaign despite the fact that they were his third club he played for in the season, in contravention of Fifa regulations.
That sparked a six-month legal battle that swung first in Ajax’s favour and then against them.
Arbiter Mokhari ruled that that be stripped of points gained in their wins over Platinum Stars and SuperSport, and an away draw with Polokwane City, and that the matches be awarded 3-0 in favour of their opponents.
That had the effect of relegating Ajax to the National First Division and elevating SuperSport into the top eight, but Fisher later essentially reversed the ruling by stating that Mokhari was not the right forum to hear the issue and that only Fifa’s Players Status Committee had jurisdiction.
The PSL have in turn appealed her decision, with the case set to drag on for some months.