Ajax Cape Town have told Black Leopards to put the champagne back on ice as they seek to have the Premier Soccer League’s (PSL) Promotion/Relegation play-offs replayed.
Leopards won promotion to the PSL this week after comfortably seeing off top-flight Platinum Stars and fellow National First Division (NFD) side Jomo Cosmos‚ but it might all count for nothing as Ajax head back to the South Gauteng High Court on June 14 and 15.
“Ajax Cape Town are seeking the court to order that they are reinstated to 15th position and rightfully earn their right to participate in the playoffs‚” the club said in a statement.
The Urban Warriors are seeking to have the arbitration decision of Advocate William Mokhare SC set aside in a review after he docked the club points that saw them drop from 15th place to last in the Absa Premiership.
Mokhare found Ajax guilty of flouting FIFA regulations in fielding striker Tendai Ndoro‚ a third club of the season for the Zimbabwe international‚ and awarded their wins over SuperSport United and Platinum Stars‚ and a draw with Polokwane City 3-0 in favour of their opponents.
Ajax’s bid is likely to be supported by AmaZulu and Cosmos‚ for differing reasons.
AmaZulu were pushed out of the potentially lucrative MTN8 with the three points gained by SuperSport‚ while for Cosmos it would give them another shot at promotion.
Should the review find that Mokhari had acted incorrectly‚ then the PSL could find themselves in an unprecedented pickle‚ forced to either conduct the play-offs again or find another solution in the impasse.
The play-offs would only be able to start after the FIFA World Cup in Russia in mid-July‚ just weeks before the 2018/19 season is set to begin.
If the review of Mokhari’s arbitration is found to be without fault‚ it will likely not be the end of the matter either as Ajax plan to head to the Court of Arbitration in Sport‚ where they can ask for an urgent hearing of their case.
That would be the last step for the club in their bid to stay up in the top flight‚ seeking the Swiss-based court to overturn the previous decisions.