PSL prosecutor Nande Becker has ‘reading to do’ to decide whether to charge Royal AM
Premier Soccer League (PSL) prosecutor Nande Becker says he has “a lot of reading” to wade through before deciding whether to charge Royal AM for further disciplinary sanction for not honouring their promotion-relegation fixtures.
Becker said the reading pertains to the various court cases that preceded the playoffs‚ and whether Royal had any legal standing for refusing to play in three playoff matches.
He said he also has to wait for the final game of the playoffs to make a decision on whether to bring Royal before a disciplinary committee (DC).
Chippa United’s 1-1 draw with Richards Bay on Saturday saw them preserve their Premier Division status‚ taking an unassailable seven-point lead.
However this is pending Royal’s application at the Supreme Court of Appeal to be reinstated as GladAfrica Championship winners at the expense of Sekhukhune United‚ a lengthy process that could send the playoffs‚ and 2021-22 First Division and DStv Premiership seasons‚ into disarray.
Royal have not played any of their three matches‚ including on Monday against Richards Bay at Umhlatuze Sports Stadium.
They are certain to not honour the final playoffs fixture against Chippa at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday.
“I’ve got most of the paperwork in respect of all three matches they have not played‚” Becker told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.
“However it isn’t a straightforward charge form there.
"There were a number of court applications preceding the playoffs. I wasn’t part of those proceedings.
“In the event that there were disciplinary issues subsequent to the court cases then I would have difficulty with making an independent decision and call on whether to charge or not.
“Unfortunately I have got‚ and am in the process of doing‚ a hell of a lot of reading.
“All the reports are in‚ I’ve got all the statements from the witnesses.
"Now it’s just a question of whether their [Royal’s] defence has any merits‚ and whether there’s a case that is strong enough to convince a DC totally.
“And I can’t charge‚ for example‚ in the one match and not for the other. I will have to be consistent.
“If I’m ready‚ and I believe there is a case on the first matter [match]‚ that would follow for all the other [matches] as such.
“I will take the decision as to whether or not there are grounds to prosecute. The answer will be there by the time the playoffs have been completed.
“It’s being investigated and probably by the end of the week I would have reached a decision.”
Becker said part of that reading has been to interpret the ruling of acting judge Nyathi AJ granted from an application by Royal to interdict the playoffs from continuing.
Royal’s legal representatives have interpreted the interdict as applying so long as they have taken their application to be reinstalled as GladAfrica champions to the Supreme Court.
The PSL continued with the playoffs as their interpretation was that the interdict fell away once Royal’s appeal at the South Gauteng High Court was dismissed.
Rules in the NSL Handbook for a team not showing for a match state:
"15.2. Where a match is not played because of the late or non-arrival of a Member Club team … the offending Member Club … will be charged with misconduct.
"In this regard impossibility of performance as a result of a vehicle breakdown‚ logistical problem‚ or that the Member Club team was unable to locate the match venue‚ will not be a defence to this charge.
"15.3. Where a Member Club is found guilty in terms of Rule 15.2‚ its opponent in that match will receive a “walk-over” (a 3-0 (three-nil) win)‚ unless the Disciplinary Committee considers that a different sanction may be more appropriate."