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Mother of all stand-offs ahead for SA football

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Mutinous Royal AM FC are due to kick their promotion/relegation playoff campaign against Chippa United on Tuesday, but according to various reports, the club have no intention of honouring the fixture.

Royal AM FC players celebrate their win after their GladAfrica Championship game against Cape Town All Stars at Chatsworth Stadium
Royal AM FC players celebrate their win after their GladAfrica Championship game against Cape Town All Stars at Chatsworth Stadium. Picture: Steve Haag, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – The South African football fraternity can brace itself for the mother of all stand-offs!

After an uneventful start to the contentious Premier Soccer League (PSL) promotion/relegation play-offs on Saturday, the mutinous National First Division Club Royal AM Club are scheduled to open their four-match programme. They will go up against DStv Premiership outfit Chippa United at the Chatsworth Stadium, Durban, on Tuesday (start 3pm).

However, numerous media reports on Tuesday informed that Royal AM official Sinky Mnisi has said, in no uncertain terms, that his team will not honour the fixture.

ALSO READ: Chippa seeking mental strength to survive play-offs

Last week Royal AM obtained a court interdict to halt the play-offs, which finally, after two attempts, started on Saturday when Chippa hosted Richards Bay in the opener at the Nelson Bay Stadium.

Royal AM were highly infuriated that the PSL ignored the interdict and proceeded with the play-offs.

The upshot was that Royal AM approached the Supreme Court of Appeal, and the law firm representing Royal AM, Mabuza Attorneys, have notified the PSL to that effect.

Hours before the start of the Chippa vs Richards Bay match, the Gauteng High Court deputy judge president Roland Sutherland dismissed Royal AM’s application to have his initial order, which he gave last week on Saturday, reviewed in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Sutherland’s initial order was confirmation of the SAFA Arbitration Tribunal award handed down by Advocate Hilton Epstein, who awarded Sekhukhune United Football Club three log points. As a result, Sekhukhune secured automatic promotion to the DStv Premiership for next season.

PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala would not comment on the matter and said she cannot “prejudge what will happen” should Royal AM not fulfil the fixture.

Mnisi made it clear in a media comment that his team will not be playing.

“Our legal stance is that we are not playing simple. We don’t even want to comment,” said Mnisi.

“Royal AM is not playing based on AJ Nyathi’s court order that’s it. If you need more (information), get our attorney [of Mabuza Attorneys]. He is in the position to elaborate more.”

In their relentless pursuit to win automatic promotion, Royal AM may unwittingly have found an ally in Premier Soccer league acting CEO Mato Madlala, who recently commented on the saga at a recent football function in Durban.

“This is not a scandal. This shows our judiciary is respected and allows people to raise their views,” she explained.

“It is freedom of expressing yourself. In our rules, it starts from DC (disciplinary committee) and then arbitration to review if there is a need – like any constitution.

“We encourage that – we don’t dictate. We say if you feel like you not happy with the decision, it is your right to appeal the decision, until you are satisfied.

“Even in murder cases, the sentences most of the time takes longer, even six months. Everyone has a right to get a postponement.”

@Herman_Gibbs