AmaZulu ask the PSL to help them soften Fifa punishment

AmaZulu chairman Dr Patrick Sokhela (R) with the club's head coach Cavin Johnson during an Absa Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on September 22, 2018.
AmaZulu chairman Dr Patrick Sokhela (R) with the club's head coach Cavin Johnson during an Absa Premiership match against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on September 22, 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

AmaZulu have asked the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to help them with their bid to rescind the six point sanction imposed for defying world football’s governing body Fifa.

But insiders believe there's very little that the PSL can do about it.

AmaZulu’s chairman Patrick Sokhela met with PSL chairman Irvin Khoza a fortnight ago to plead for assistance and to also try and mend fences with the league’s hierarchy after his son Lunga allegedly accused the league of “throwing (AmaZulu) under the bus”.

Lunga Sokhela has since been sidelined at the club after it emerged that apparently none of the club’s top brass‚ including the O’Connor brothers Graham and Peter who finance the club‚ were aware of the complexities of the legal dispute brought by Namibian player Phinheas Nambandi‚ who tried to get money due to him for four years.

The younger Sokhela allegedly infuriated the PSL with his comments as well as allegations he made in a radio interview.

The PSL say they have no power to overturn or soften the six-point fine that Fifa imposed after AmaZulu continued to brush aside the bid of Nambandi to be paid out his contract.

With the help of the SA Football Players Union (Safpu)‚ Nambandi took his case all the way to Fifa‚ who ordered AmaZulu to pay him as long ago as September last year.

Fifa ordered a payment of R1‚086m as compensation for breach of contract within 30 days plus five percent interest per annum for the four years he was owed money.

AmaZulu were also ordered to pay costs and expenses incurred in connection with the arbitration proceedings.

The Durban club appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a final and binding arbitration and‚ 12 months later lost the case as the court upheld the Fifa ruling.

AmaZulu ignored the CAS decision‚ and the matter then was sent to the Fifa disciplinary committee‚ who gave the KwaZulu-Natal side until September 16 to settle their debt.

But Sokhhela told reporters AmaZulu would not pay any money to the player and true to his word missed the deadline‚ bringing himself into direct conflict with Fifa.

The result was a six-point fine for AmaZulu‚ as ordered by Fifa‚ tumbling the Durban club to the foot of the PSL and making it exceedingly hard for them to avoid relegation this year.

PSL officials have told TimesLIVE that AmaZulu’s only recourse is appealing directly to Fifa.

Patrick Sokhela confirmed to TimesLIVE he was now back running the club‚ having recovered from serious illness‚ and had met with Khoza a fortnight ago.

X