Safa to finalise points saga before playoffs

The SA Football Association has promised to finalise all outstanding Eastern Cape ABC Motsepe League cases before the promotional playoffs are played on June 5.

WAITING TO EXHALE: Amandla ‘Amigo’ Mrwebi of Future Tigers dribbles past EC Bees striker Bongani Chikila in their ABC Motsepe League game at the Bhisho Stadium earlier this month. Bees won the game 2-0. Both clubs are embroiled in a league dispute Picture: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

The association will sit tomorrow to decide on three cases involving Future Tigers at its Johannesburg offices.

The sitting at Safa House will decide whether EC Bees or Tigers will end the season as the Eastern Cape winners of the third-tier league and represent the province in the promotional playoffs for a place in the National First Division next season.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, the head of Safa’s legal department, Tebogo Motlanthe, admitted that they were concerned with the cases yet to be resolved with just weeks left before Buffalo City Metro hosts the playoffs.

“But we are going to finish all the cases before the June4 because the playoffs are on June5.

“In the morning we will deal with the disciplinary hearing where Future Tigers allege that EC Bees played an improperly registered player in their last game,” he said.

“Then, at 5pm, we will deal with all the appeals.”

Asked what measures would be put in place to ensure similar cases of improperly registered players didn’t happen, Motlanthe said the only way was for teams to stick to the association’s rules and regulations.

In the fresh case, Tigers claimed that Bees fielded yet another improperly registered player in their 2-0 loss in what was supposed to be a title deciding encounter on May 6.

One of the two appeals was lodged by Bees after Safa ruled that the Bhisho team had fielded Anele Jakuja – an improperly registered player in their game – against Highbury on April 8.

Safa expunged three points from Bees and fined them R10000, of which R5000 was suspended.

In the third case, Tigers also want Safa to expunge three points from Lion City, claiming the Port Elizabeth outfit fielded Luxolo Nabo, a Chippa United player, in the MultiChoice Diski Challenge, in their 1-0 loss on March 25. Safa initially ruled against Tigers on the matter, citing MDC rules allow for players to play in any Safa-recognised league using their playing cards.

The Dispatch understands that Tigers will argue that MDC rules should not trump Safa rules as the association’s rules are silent about players playing in different teams in one season.

Tigers boss Vukile Mlanjana said because Safa processes were still unfolding, it would be “wrong of us to discuss the matter outside the regulated processes before it is concluded”.

He added: “We would appreciate it if you would write our reason not to participate in your interview.

“We would, however, be ready to respond to your questions once the appeal by EC Bees and our appeal against Lion City are concluded.”

Bees team manager Zama Nene declined to comment.

The points debacle is unlikely to be resolved tomorrow as whichever team loses the hearings will most likely go to arbitration.

Whatever decision is taken in arbitration will be final and binding on all parties, Motlanthe has previously told the Dispatch.