Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse. Picture: TIMESLIVE
Mamelodi Sundowns defender Wayne Arendse. Picture: TIMESLIVE

Mamelodi Sundowns are preparing to mount a strong argument for why they should not be deducted a point and Bidvest Wits awarded two in the disciplinary matter involving Downs allegedly fielding Wayne Arendse, an ineligible player.

Sundowns have been called to a Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary hearing which was postponed from February 6 and will now be heard on February 25.

The Pretoria club fielded defender Arendse as a late change in their 1-1 Premiership draw against Wits at Lucas Moripe Stadium on October 7‚ having not been in the match 18‚ which is in contravention of PSL regulations.

The case is important as it involves title chasers Wits, who lead the PSL with 37 points from 20 games‚ and Sundowns who are breathing down their necks in second place on 34 from 17.

Sundowns appear likely to lose a point from the matter‚ and Wits gain two.

However, Downs point to match commissioner Mark Lindon allegedly advising them ahead of the game that Arendse could replace the injured Thapelo Morena in the starting XI‚ and signing off on the change. They also will point out that Wits never raised an objection to the change. 

Downs point to the case of an ineligible player at Platinum Stars in 2016. Stars signed left-back Siyabonga Zulu from Chippa United even though they knew the player had only been loaned to Chippa by Orlando Pirates. Platinum fielded Zulu in a 1-1 draw against Downs. After the subsequent disciplinary hearing‚ while Stars were deducted a point‚ no points were awarded to Sundowns.

Downs will make the argument that their case is less serious because Arendse was not illegally registered‚ plus they had permission from Lindon.

PSL prosecutor Nande Becker confirmed that the disciplinary hearing will be held on February 25 and said the matter needed to be resolved well before the end of the league season in May.

“It’s an important matter. And that’s why it needs to be resolved soon,” Becker said.