Sekhukhune United are set to play in next season’s DStv Premiership after a court decision awarded on Saturday morning handed the club promotion ahead of Royal AM.
A few weeks ago, a ruling was handed down awarding Sekhukhune United three points for a game which took place earlier in the season.
The decision effectively took them to the top of the GladAfrica Championship and ahead of main rivals Royal AM.
Clubs in the league then appealed the ruling, but on Saturday morning it was revealed that the original decision stood that Sekhukhune must automatically be promoted to the DStv Premiership, with Royal AM, who were clinging on to the hope that they would be crowned winners, now set for the playoffs next week.
Speaking after the ruling was made public, Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe said that he welcomed what they believe is the right decision.
‘We welcome the decision of first confirming the Epstein award and we are looking forward to the league implementing it because now they have no reason not to. They are obliged to be in line with this court ruling up until it is set aside by the higher court and they have said they are waiting for clarity from the court,’ Motlanthe told SoccerLaduma.
‘On the declaratory order, which was granted, the association will look at its position and make a decision on whether to challenge it or not. But as far as this case is concerned, we believe that justice has prevailed in line with the Epstein and Cassim award, and we want to thank them for continuously doing a good job on behalf of the association.’
Sekhukhune, through their lawyer, Karabo Tshabuse, are now awaiting their trophy and confirmation of their status from the PSL.
‘Having considered the order, our client is thrilled with the outcome and that justice has prevailed. The order means from May 19, a competent sanction of forfeiture was given, which gave our client three points even before the season ended. The protest was lodged in January 2021 and it is unfortunate that the delay was not in the hands of our client,’ Tshabuse told SoccerLaduma.
‘The PSL now has no choice, and are obligated, to enforce the award of Epstein. Such implementation of the award would mean our client would automatically be promoted to the DStv Premiership. We expect the NSL, who have also been granted a declaratory order, to then go ahead and implement the award and announce Sekhukhune United as the rightful and true champions of the GladAfrica Championship. They should also make arrangements for a trophy and medal handover, failing which, our client would have no choice but to rush to court again and resuscitate the application again, which in the first instance required the league to implement the award.’
The PSL then released a statement confirming the decision.
‘Judge Roland Sutherland today, 12 June 2021, handed down an order dealing with the disputes that arose at the end of the GladAfrica Championship.
‘The Premier Soccer League [PSL] intervened in the proceedings and asked, by way of a counter-claim, for a declaratory order that the NSL Handbook is not silent, and that it deals fully with the way in which the NSL Disciplinary Committee and/or the SAFA Arbitration Tribunal must deal with misconduct matters in professional football in South Africa.
‘Judge Sutherland granted the declaratory order the League sought. Judge Sutherland also confirmed the two SAFA Arbitration Tribunal awards handed down by Advocates Epstein and Cassim SC which impacted the final log standings. These awards where challenged by Polokwane United and TS Sporting. Neither challenge was upheld.
‘The consequence is that Sekhukhune United Football Club have secured automatic promotion to the DStv Premiership for next season, while Chippa United, Royal AM, and Richards Bay Football Clubs will context the promotion/relegation play offs which will
commence on the 15th of June 2021,’ the statement concluded.
The league also confirmed the final log standings.
You may also like