Will Citizens honour replay against Amakhosi if ordered?Thomas Kwenaite
The ongoing dispute involving Kaizer Chiefs’ failure to honor league fixtures against Cape Town City and Lamontville Golden Arrows during December last year, citing positive cases of Corona, has the potential to take the shine off the PSL.
I admit that the SAFA arbitrator ruled that Chiefs were forced by circumstances beyond their control not to honor the said matches, but his decision flew in the face of the PSL which found Chiefs guilty of misconduct by their failure to honor the fixtures.
As a result, the PSL were formulating charges against Amakhosi, just as they did against Cape Umoya, who also failed to honor a fixture and cited Corona as their reason.
But the book was thrown at them and they were found guilty and charged with bringing the game into disrepute under article 15.2 of the NSL handbook. However, before the PSL could hand down their judgement, Chiefs applied for arbitration.
And last week, the SAFA arbitrator Nazeer Cassim SC upheld their appeal but ruled that Chiefs just pay for the costs incurred by Cape Town City who flew from the mother city to honor the fixture at the FNB Stadium, only for Chiefs to pull a no-show stunt.
But as Chiefs are celebrating their “victory” which basically mean they will replay the two fixtures they missed during December, Cape Town City are not the least impressed by the latest turn of events, particularly the ruling by Arbitrator Cassim.
Chiefs claim they have been vindicated as they had initially applied to the PSL to postpone their matches throughout December claiming their camp had been decimated by the Corona virus, a request that was rejected by the PSl who insisted that they should honor the fixtures.
By the same token, City are not amused by the decision of Arbitrator Cassim and believe rules are rules and if they can be applied to Cape Umoya, then it goes without saying that they must also be applied to Chiefs as both clubs committed the same transgression.
City have thrown an undercurrent of hints that imply they might not honor the fixture against Chiefs should they be ordered by the PSL who are still studying the ruling of Arbitrator Cassim before taking a decision on whether to apply his instructions or appeal his ruling!
City Managing director John Comitis was so flabbergasted by the decision of Arbitrator Cassim that in a fit of pique on a radio interview, he threw his toys around and even “suggested” that they (PSL) may as well give Chiefs the points as he was not sure that they would honor the fixture.
Comitis suggested that the whole shebang was not exactly about the points at stake, but it was about the principles and the rules that govern their organization which is considered the number one commercially successful entity on the African continent.
Well, we wait with bated breaths what would be the next chapter in the unending PSL drama. Last year it was Royal AM who provided the drama that spiced up the organization…we wonder if this unfolding drama will continue or will be nipped in the bud before the conclusion of the current championship.