Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Premier Soccer League (PSL) insiders are confident that the Absa Premiership will start on August 3 as scheduled — this as the organisation’s board of governors meets on Thursday to decide a way forward in their legal wrangling with Ajax Cape Town over the Tendai Ndoro affair.

The PSL must choose whether to challenge the ruling of Judge Denise Fisher that set aside Ajax’s automatic relegation from the Premiership and stated that only Fifa can adjudicate on the matter.

It is likely to press on with its challenge‚ which means petitioning Fisher to give the PSL leave to appeal the judgment by suggesting the judge had erred and that another judge will find differently.

The stinger for the league is that the South Gauteng High Court is in recess until July 30‚ which would be the earliest the matter could be heard. This is just days before the scheduled start of the league.

Ajax has threatened to interdict the start of the campaign should the board of governors go ahead‚ but a PSL insider has told TimesLIVE they are confident the league will get under way on time.

"We must just go ahead with our programme and start the season‚" the person said on condition of anonymity. "We cannot wait for this matter to be sorted out through the courts because we have stakeholders that are dependent on the league getting under way.

"You have the sponsors of not just the [PSL]‚ but also the MTN8. There are the broadcasters [SuperSport and SABC]‚ the players‚ the clubs. Everybody bar Ajax and maybe AmaZulu wants to see the season start‚ so that is what we must do," the person said.

"If a situation arises in the future where we need to accommodate Ajax then that is something we must look at then and decide what to do. But the matter comes down to the simple fact of whether Ajax were allowed to play Ndoro and the answer to that‚ according to the Fifa‚ South African Football Association, and PSL rules‚ is no they were not."

TimesLIVE has been told from a number of sources within the PSL that expanding the league to 17 or 18 teams this season is not on the cards as the financial implications‚ as well as the extra workload for clubs and players‚ is too great.

If the PSL is not granted leave to appeal Fisher’s ruling‚ it will be left in limbo‚ with Black Leopards already having filled Ajax’s place in the Absa Premiership next season after winning the promotion/relegation play-offs.

Fisher set aside the arbitration ruling of Advocate William Mokhari‚ concluding not that he had erred in finding Ajax guilty of fielding Ndoro‚ but that the correct forum to hear the matter is Fifa’s player status committee.

Mokhari had stripped Ajax of the points gained in wins over Platinum Stars and SuperSport United‚ as well as a draw with Polokwane City‚ last season and awarded the matches 3-0 to their opponents. That relegated Ajax to bottom place in the league and pushed SuperSport into the top eight at the expense of AmaZulu. Ajax suggests the ruling was unprecedented and too harsh.

Ajax is accused of fielding Zimbabwe international forward Ndoro‚ despite it being his third club of the season‚ in contravention of Fifa regulations‚ though it claims extenuating circumstances.