The saga to have the 16th top-flight league team confirmed is raging on in a dispute which threatens to delay the start of next season
The Premier Soccer League has suffered yet another setback after yielding to Royal AM’s pressure to have the promotion/relegation play-offs put on hold.
After insisting that the play-offs should go ahead in what was seen as defiance to Monday’s ruling by Judge Nyathi AJ of the Gauteng High Court to call off the matches, the league had made a major climb down.
This sees the postponement of the match between Chippa United and Richards Bay which was scheduled for Thursday.
The play-offs were initially planned to kick off on Tuesday before Royal AM won a court interdict to have the matches halted.
“Be that as it may, and due to the dispute on the correct interpretation of the Nyathi AJ order raised in your letter [set on June 16], we [PSL lawyers] are instructed that the commencement of the 2021 GladAfrica promotion/relegation play-off matches between Chippa United FC and Richards Bay FC, scheduled for 3 pm this afternoon [Thursday], will be postponed,” the PSL lawyers wrote to Royal AM on Thursday as per Times Live.
“Our client (PSL) will communicate to all affected clubs shortly. This is in no manner whatsoever an admission that your client’s (Royal AM) position is correct — it is not.”
The saga haunting the confirmation of the 16th top-flight league team for next season escalated last Saturday when Gauteng judge Roland Sutherland made a ruling which declared Sekhukhune United as National First Division champions, earning them an automatic PSL berth.
The judgement dislodged Royal AM who had already declared themselves NFD champions.
Sekhukhune were awarded three points from January’s match against Polokwane City where the latter were found guilty of breaking the Under-23 rule.
As the Chippa-Richards Bay match looked likely to go on on Thursday, Royal AM general manager Sinky Mnisi accused the PSL of being in contempt of Judge Nyathi’s ruling by giving instructions to have the play-offs proceed.
“I am a layman but I think the PSL is in contempt of the court order and the interdict by going ahead with the play-offs. The order said the 2020/21 play-offs must be stopped and right now there is no order that suspends Judge Nyathi’s ruling,” said Mnisi on SAFM as per Phakaaathi.
“The order from Judge Nyathi is very clear that the play-offs can’t go ahead, pending the determination of the review we are seeking. We are guided by the court order and will not show up for our play-off game on Sunday, until we get another court order that nullifies the one we have.”
This dispute is threatening the start of next season’s PSL campaign.