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David Thidiela positive his one-year ban will be overturned at appeal hearing on Friday

David Thidiela Chairman of Black Leopards celebrates during the National First Division Promotion Playoffs on 30 May 2018 at Thohoyandou Stadium.
David Thidiela Chairman of Black Leopards celebrates during the National First Division Promotion Playoffs on 30 May 2018 at Thohoyandou Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

David Thidiela maintains that his one-year ban from football-related activities was a travesty of justice and the Black Leopards owner is confident the decision will be overturned on Friday at an appeal hearing.

Thidiela will come face to face with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) during the hearing set to take place at Safa House.

The SA Football Association are conveners of the hearing.

The outspoken but controversial Thidiela was banned by the PSL last month and fined R1m as punishment for a tribal rant he aimed at referee Victor Hlungwani that included apparent threats last year.

The PSL disciplinary committee found Thidiela guilty of bringing the League into disrepute for the tirade he directed at Hlungwani following an Absa Premiership match between Leopards and Bloemfontein Celtic in Thohoyandou in September‚ a game his side lost 1-0.

Speaking on behalf of his client Thidiela‚ Advocate Eric Mabuza‚ who will represent the Leopards boss at the appeal hearing‚ told SowetanLIVE that they are confident the one-year ban will be set aside.

“We still maintain that Mr Thidiela’s ban was an injustice and we are of the view that the decision could be overturned by the hearing‚” said Mabuza.

“It doesn’t sit well with us also that the whole process that led to his ban was carried out in absentia and that’s one of the things we will be putting on the table at the hearing.”

Safa legal officer Tebogo Motlhanthe said it is all systems go for the hearing scheduled to start at 5pm.

“It should take a couple of hours before a decision is handed down‚” said Motlhanthe‚ who added that veteran advocate Sthembiso “Sticks” Mdladla is the chairperson of the hearing.

Thidiela and Leopards’ lawyer Mabuza will square up against Nande Becker on behalf of the PSL.

Thidiela’s ban resulted in him losing his place on the powerful PSL executive committee.

The firebrand Leopards boss incensed the league’s executives in December when he launched a scathing attack of PSL chairman Irivin Khoza.

In the letter‚ Thidiela called for regime change and‚ in reference to Khoza‚ said the League needed “more than one man” to make decisions.

Thidiela went as far copying world football governing body Fifa in his letter and asked for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the way the PSL runs its affairs.

However‚ his one-year ban did not involve accusations and allegations he made in his strongly-worded letter.

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