D-Day for 'confident' Royal in promotion saga

PSL said to be hopeful playoffs will start on Sunday

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Royal AM chairman and player Andile Mpisane and club owner and mom , Shauwn Mkhize celebrate after the match.
Royal AM chairman and player Andile Mpisane and club owner and mom , Shauwn Mkhize celebrate after the match.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Royal AM are positive the Johannesburg High Court will today set aside arbitrator Hilton Epstein’s verdict to award points to Sekhukhune United, Sowetan has been told.

Polokwane City, alongside co-applicants Royal and the Premier Soccer League (PSL), want the court to annul Epstein’s ruling. This matter will be heard at the high court, Gauteng local division, this morning after it was postponed last week Thursday.

All these squabbles stem from a match between Polokwane and Sekhukhune on January 2, where Polokwane failed to comply with the league’s under-23 rule. Epstein ruled that Polokwane had forfeited the tie with a 3-0 scoreline and gave the club a R100,000 suspended fine.

A source close to the saga told Sowetan that Royal, who finished top of the GladAfrica Championship table on 51 points, one ahead of Sekhukhune, strongly believe the court will rule in Polokwane's favour.

“Royal are optimistic the court will set aside Epstein’s decision. Their belief is based on the fact Polokwane didn’t contravene the U-23 rule on purpose but it was because of Covid-19. The match was on January 2 and the Covid result had came back a day before, when the PSL offices were closed, so they couldn’t register a new player after one of their U-23s had contracted Covid,’’ said the source.

“The PSL has told all the member clubs that they aim to start the playoffs on Sunday and that also shows they’re positive the matter will be wrapped up on Friday [today]. It's not like Polokwane used an [in]eligible player, it just that there were four, instead of five U-23 players on their team sheet.”

All parties were reluctant to comment, insisting the matter was sub judice.

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