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Judgment reserved on crucial Sundowns’ DC case over fielding an ineligible player

Wayne Arendse of Mamelodi Sundowns fouls Fagrie Lakay of Bidvest Wits.
Wayne Arendse of Mamelodi Sundowns fouls Fagrie Lakay of Bidvest Wits.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns’ disciplinary committee (DC) case over fielding ineligible player Wayne Arendse in an Absa Premiership game against Bidvest Wits has been heard‚ and judgment has been reserved.

Arguments were made at the Premier Soccer League DC on Monday night‚ PSL prosecutor Nande Becker said on Tuesday morning.

The case relates to Sundowns fielding Arendse in a 1-1 draw against Wits at Lucas Moripe Stadium on October 7 when the defender had not been named in the match squad of 18‚ contrary to PSL regulations.

“There was a DC. The matter was argued‚ and judgment has been reserved by the disciplinary committee‚” Becker said.

“This is just on the question of the misconduct – we haven’t yet dealt with sanctions or anything like that.

“We sat last night and argued that matter.”

Becker said he had no idea when the judgment would be passed.

“They [Sundowns] raised quite a complicated legal argument. So I think that bares some consideration and investigation by the DC as such‚” he said.

“It’s not just a factual dispute – ‘He didn’t hit me’‚ that type of thing. There are some difficult legal issues to deal with over here.”

The case is important as it might impact the PSL title race.

There is a possibility of Wits‚ currently the league leaders‚ being awarded two points‚ and Sundowns‚ currently in second‚ losing one.

Sundowns are believed to have based their defence on the fact that match commissioner Mark Lindon allowed and signed off on Arendse coming in as a late replacement for injured Thapelo Morena.

They also point out that Wits never made a protest.

Downs are also believed to have pointed to the case of an ineligible player at Platinum Stars in 2016.

Stars signed left-back Siyabonga Zulu from Chippa United‚ even though they knew the player had only been loaned to Chippa by Orlando Pirates.

Platinum fielded Zulu in a 1-1 draw against Downs. In the subsequent DC Stars were deducted a point‚ but no points were awarded to Sundowns.

Sundowns would have made the argument that their case was less serious as Arendse was not illegally registered.

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