Royal AM issue Thursday morning ultimatum to PSL to stop Chippa vs Richards Bay playoff

Sazi Hadebe Sports reporter
Royal AM have challenged a high court judgment that saw their rivals crowned as GladAfrica Championship winners.
Royal AM have challenged a high court judgment that saw their rivals crowned as GladAfrica Championship winners.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

The league playoffs are once again under threat after it emerged that lower-tier side Royal AM have given the Premier Soccer League (PSL) an ultimatum of 10am on Thursday morning to suspend the matches or face further legal action.

The playoff schedule is to get under way on Thursday with a clash between Richards Bay FC and Chippa United in Gqeberha‚ but Royal AM want the PSL to abide by the order given by acting judge Nyathi AJ of the Gauteng High Court on Monday night and call off the games.

Royal are appealing against Gauteng high court deputy judge president Roland Sutherland's verdict‚ which upheld an arbitration award of three points to promotion rivals Sekhukhune United.

Sutherland’s order made Sekhukhune winners of the GladAfrica Championship‚ a decision that saw Sekhukhune gain automatic promotion to the DStv premiership and also in the process bumped Royal AM down to the promotion playoffs.

Nyathi's order suspended the playoffs pending the application brought to court by Royal AM‚ who wanted the court to grant them leave to appeal against Sutherland's order issued on Saturday.

In a letter sent to the PSL lawyers on Wednesday and seen by SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE‚ Royal AM are demanding that the league must‚ by no later than 10am on June 17 2021 give, among other things‚ an indication that it will “make a public statement indicating that it will comply with the law that no playoffs will be played in breach of Nyathi AJ court order”.

The Durban club added that if the PSL fails to respond positively to their letter‚ “Royal AM will be left with no option but to approach a court of law to obtain the appropriate redress and/or relief‚ without further notification to the recipients (PSL) of this letter. Such relief will include a punitive order of costs against all culpable individuals personally.”

When judge Nyathi granted Royal AM relief on Monday night‚ his order included that: “Pending the final determination of Royal AM's application for leave to appeal and/or appeal the commencement of the GladAfrica promotion/relegation playoffs is suspended.”

The league on Tuesday wrote to Sutherland requesting that Royal AM's application for leave to appeal be heard “as a matter of extreme urgency”. The PSL‚ also on Tuesday‚ lodged an application for leave to appeal against the entire order granted by judge Nyathi.

But while awaiting the outcome of their application to court‚ the PSL continued with plans for the start of the playoffs‚ an event that is fully funded by the league.

After Royal AM's match against Richards Bay United‚ which was scheduled to kick off the playoffs on Tuesday‚ was cancelled after Nyathi's order on Monday‚ the PSL changed the fixture list. Chippa were then instructed to play Richards Bay in Gqeberha at 3pm on Thursday.

At the time of publishing, the PSL had not indicated whether it will abide by Royal AM’s letter.

This is a developing story.

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