IT DOES not get any more muddled than this.
Advocate William Mokhari SCa��s ruling that Ajax Cape Town be docked points, thus resulting in their relegation from the PSL to the National First Division, was brushed aside by Judge Denise Fisher yesterday.
As things stand now, Ajax are back in the Absa Premiership, sitting pretty in 15th place, while Platinum Stars are 16th and relegated, as was initially the case.
The judge handed down the judgment yesterday after having thoroughly studied the arbitratora��s ruling since last week following arguments in the High Court.
Fisher said Mokhari had no jurisdiction or eligibility to determine whether Tendai Ndoro, who is at the centre of the whole mess, was eligible or not to be fielded in the affected matches.
Ndoro parted ways with Ajax last week.
The matter has now been referred back to Fifa.
Noting Fishera��s judgment, the PSL said it would seek legal advice a�?and the appropriate steps will be taken in due coursea�?.
How this affects the PSL:
Black Leopardsa�� fresh PSL promotion is at risk of being nullified, as Judge Fisher states in the Conclusion and Remedy Article 52 a�? . . . an order declaring that the promotion play-offs are invalida�?.
Platinum Stars, SuperSport United and Polokwane City lose the three points awarded to each when Ajax got relegated and docked the points.
SuperSport United, who had already started preparing to compete in the season-opening MTN8 in August, will now miss out on the competition as the deduction of points moves them back to 11th place in the table. This elevates AmaZulu back into the top eight.
Jomo Cosmos, who finished second in the promotion play-offs, have already sold eight important and experienced players and therefore risk being less competitive should the play-offs have to be replayed. The same applies to Ajax, who are not only without Ndoro but also many others.
Black Leopards have already signed new, quality players with the hope of being able to retain their PSL status. They have also signed lease agreements with the municipality managing Thohoyandou Stadium, where they would be playing their matches.
Platinum Stars could reclaim legal fees from the PSL after spending a fortune on a fight to be reinstated in 15th place and take part in the play-offs.
League sponsors, including MTN, will have to start afresh with plans that were already afoot for the new season.
As it stands, the league will have to come up with a new date for the play-offs involving Leopards, Cosmos and Ajax in place of Stars.
Ajax chief executive Ari Efstathiou said in a statement that the Urban Warriors were a�?naturally very pleased with Judge Fishera��s rulinga�? to set aside Mokharia��s decision.
He said: a�?The club will comment further once full clarity on Judge Fishera��s judgment is received from the legal team.a�?
For the league to appease all parties, it would have to cater for NFD champions Highlands Park and Leopards in the elite league, while Ajax must also be considered, as well as Cosmos, to save face in this embarrassing and ugly affair.
This could mean the top flight would have to become an 18-team league, pending negotiations with the sponsors to cater for two more teams.
Lunga Sokhela of AmaZulu said they were relieved and accepted the judgment.
Some club bosses affected by this ruling have declined to comment, while others are still studying the judgment.