Home Sport ABC Motsepe League play-offs hits another snag

ABC Motsepe League play-offs hits another snag

Safa top honchos with Safa president Dr Danny Jordaan. Willem Coetzee the Safa NC secretary is standing at the back. Picture: Neville Motlhabakwe

THE NORTHERN Cape ABC Motsepe League championship for the current season (2021/22) is still undecided as one of the two top contenders, NC Professionals, have requested that the SA Football Association launch an investigation into Upington City FC.

Safa NC secretary Willem Coetzee on Tuesday morning confirmed that a date and venue on which to stage the provincial championship play-offs has been confirmed. Upington will host the provincial finals on May 28, he said.

However, that is very likely a tentative date as it is not yet clear whether Safa will entertain NC Professionals’ request for an investigation into Upington City.

ALSO READ: Thrilling end to ABC Motsepe League race foreseen as teams run neck-and-neck

This is the latest twist in this now five-month-old saga that started with a simple league match on January 29 this year. On that date Olifantshoek Young Stars had lost a match 4-0 against Upington City.

After the match Young Stars lodged a complaint that Upington City had fielded an ineligible player named Philani Gumede. It was alleged that Gumede had picked up two yellow cards and had therefore been ineligible as he was on suspension for his next two matches.

The Young Stars complaint was heard by the Safa DC in Upington on February 19 this year and the disciplinary committee ruled in favour of the Young Stars complaint and ordered that points be deducted from Upington City.

However, Upington City appealed that decision and its appeal was upheld by the Safa Appeals panel on April 28. The basis for the favourable appeals verdict was that Young Stars had lodged their original complaint about an ineligible player in the Upington City team to Safa after the prescribed period for such lodgements had lapsed.

The upshot was that as of the official Safa log of March 28 Upington City had 40 points from 16 matches while second-placed NC Pros had 39 points. In terms of these standings Upington City are the champions of the Safa NC ABC Motsepe league’s southern Stream.

This means they will contest the provincial championship against the other stream winner, namely Kimberley’s Real Madrid FC.

But NC Pros have put a spanner in the works this time around by asking Safa to launch an investigation into Upington City’s conduct in relation to the first match of January 29.

NC Pros executive committee member Allister Davids confirmed on Tuesday that they have instructed the NC Pros legal team to serve papers on Safa asking for an investigation into Upington City’s conduct.

He said NC Pros are further asking Safa to deduct the points from that match from the offending Upington City who have, in any case, admitted at an earlier disciplinary hearing to having been at fault in fielding an ineligible player during that match in January.

In short, NC Professionals are protesting against Upington City’s championship and alleges that Upington City have flouted player eligibility rules in a match leading up to the championship.

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