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Date set for Royal AM to find out their PSL disciplinary hearing fate

Premier Soccer League prosecutor Nande Becker.
Premier Soccer League prosecutor Nande Becker.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

A finding in the disciplinary committee (DC) hearing against Royal AM for failing to honour their promotion-relegation playoff fixtures is set to be handed down on Wednesday‚ August 11.

Following postponements by a week of the DC on the last two weekends‚ the arguments were heard from both Royal’s legal representatives and Premier Soccer League (PSL) prosecutor Nande Becker on Saturday.

“Cases closed on both sides‚” Becker messaged by SMS on Saturday night.

“We must file heads of argument by July 4 [Wednesday] and a finding will be handed down on Wednesday‚ August 11.”

The DC hearing is the latest in the long saga involving Royal AM‚ and an arbitration award of three points to Sekhukhune United on May 19. That decision came in the week before the final round of matches in the GladAfrica Championship‚ and resulted in Sekhukhune winning the second-tier for automatic promotion to the DStv Premiership.

Previous log leaders Royal were bumped down to second place by the three points awarded to Sekhukhune‚ and into the playoffs. They have waged a legal battle to be reinstated champions at the courts since.

On Monday‚ Royal had an application for PSL acting CEO Mato Madlala to be held in contempt of court dismissed by Judge Leonie Windell at the South Gauteng High Court. Stunningly‚ Royal’s legal representatives had apparently pushed for jail time for Madlala in their application.

This detail may be relevant to the Durban club’s DC hearing‚ too. NSL Handbook rules permit that a 3-0 win be awarded to the opposition in the event of a no-show to a match‚ and for a fine if deemed necessary.

The DC does not have the authority to expel a club‚ but can recommend that such a measure come before the PSL’s board of governors (BoG)‚ comprising the 32 GladAfrica and Premiership clubs.

Should such a drastic measure come before the BoG‚ AM’s conduct in deliberately failing to honour four playoff matches‚ and their application to have Madlala held in contempt of court‚ may not stand them in good stead.

Premier Division team Chippa United preserved their top-flight status in the playoffs‚ as Durban team AM‚ owned by flamboyant businesswoman and reality TV show star Shauwn Mkhize‚ boycotted their games.

Royal’s legal interpretation was that an earlier interdict against the playoffs proceeding by judge Nyathi still applied even after deputy judge president Roland Sutherland had dismissed the club’s leave to appeal the high court’s decision to uphold the arbitration decision. Royal have applied to have their case heard at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The PSL’s legal advice was that the interdict fell away once Sutherland dismissed the case at the high court‚ so continued with the playoffs.

The DC was first put back on Saturday‚ July 17 when Royal brought an application for the postponement without the correct paperwork‚ and were given time to file it‚ Becker said at the time.

Last Saturday’s (July 24) virtual hearing was postponed apparently because Mkhize had taken sick and was bedridden‚ and could not attend.