Home Sport ‘Iron Duke’ backs off on hard-line stance

‘Iron Duke’ backs off on hard-line stance

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PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza speaks during a press conference
FILE – PSL Chairman Irvin Khoza speaks during a press conference. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Now that Irvin Khoza has realised that the Kaizer Chiefs Covid debacle has the potential of a ticking time bomb, he has sheepishly changed his tune.

Cape Town — Suddenly the ‘The Iron Duke’, as Irvin Khoza is known, has changed tack.

A few days ago, when the Kaizer Chiefs saga first surfaced the Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Khoza made light of the matter saying: “We’re a rules-based organisation. Everything is easy because we just refer to the rules, compliance manual, or the rule-book for answers.”

Now that Khoza has realised that the Chiefs debacle has the potential of a ticking time bomb, he has sheepishly changed his tune: “It is not an easy matter. It is a matter that was dealt with by the football department. It was escalated to the executive committee.

“It requires a lot of attention to detail to adjudicate this matter. It must be seen to give a thorough evaluation and process.”

After the PSL’s televised presser on Tuesday, it is not clear that Chiefs have appealed against the PSL’s decision to decline the request to postpone matches at a time when they were unable to physically field a team.

ALSO READ: Kaizer Chiefs ‘dumbfounded’ as PSL still sheds no light on burning issue

What is clear is that Chiefs are not happy with the PSL and the remarks of Kaizer Motaung points to that. Chiefs’ supremo said he was “dumbfounded” by the PSL’s ruling.

It remains for the PSL to decide the fate of Chiefs after they failed to turn up for two matches. Motaung has expressed the hope that sanity and rationality will prevail (when deciding on an outcome). It was with good reason that Motaung urged the PSL to learn from the examples of other top leagues elsewhere in the world.

At Tuesday’s presser Khoza said that every administrative decision was reviewable, and that suggests the door has been left open for Chiefs to play the matches later after requesting the postponement.

ALSO READ: PSL announces initiative to help players transition to life after football

Khoza’s initial view that “everything is easy because we just refer to the rules” was as a result of a circular to clubs last year, and which informed: “The executive committee resolved on 3 August 2020 and directed that Covid-19 reasons do not and will not constitute exceptional reasons justifying a postponement.”

The PSL have already used this as a basis to deal with two clubs that were affected by the coronavirus pandemic last year. Khoza said that in a subsequent meeting, Tim Sukazi, the chairman of TS Galaxy, predicted that the executive committee’s Covid-19 rule would pose problems.

Khoza said: “At least he was prophesying that we will be faced with this kind of situation; it was Tim Sukazi. He stood up towards the end of the meeting and said ‘I foresee a problem. How are you going to deal with this problem?'”

The Galaxy boss may have had the foresight to see that the PSL executive committee were making decisions that were beyond their reach because of health regulations in times of the pandemic.

At this stage, one cannot see Chiefs’ two games being declared 3-0 walk-overs for failing to honour fixtures.

Sukazi has had his fair share of the media limelight earlier after he lodged an official complaint to the PSL. He was manhandled at Orlando Stadium, where he tried to enter the changing rooms. He said that security at the stadium was instructed by the chairman (Khoza) to deny him access.

Thankfully the arrival of the charismatic advocate, Zola Majavu, will help to change things. The PSL executive committee, with its inherent conflict of interests, will no longer be making decisions beyond its legal reach.

@Herman_Gibbs

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