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Pretoria – Sekhukhune United have been officially promoted to topflight football while Royal AM will compete in the promotion/relegation play-offs.
This comes after the Limpopo side won their court case against the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to be declared winners of the second tier division GladAfrica Championship.
Sekhukhune was granted a declaratory order on Saturday that forces the league to award them the three points they had been disputing in an arbitration last month.
The club was awarded maximum points and a 3-0 result by advocate Hilton Epstein SC over Polokwane City last month.
City had failed to comply with the rule that requires five Under-23 players to be on the match-day team list, as per the PSL rules.
This meant that Sekhukhune club would be crowned the GladAfrica winners after reviewing the 2020/21 champions, prompting Royal AM, who had challenged the courts, to battle it out with Chippa United and Richards Bay in the relegation/promotion play-offs to kick off this week.
Royal AM will now move to second with 51 points.
Handing down his judgment, Judge Roland Sutherland said: “The application to review the arbitration award given by Epstein SC on May 19, 2021, is dismissed.
“The counter-claim for a declaratory order in these terms is granted; where a disciplinary committee or arbitrator makes a finding of misconduct in terms of the National Soccer League (NSL) handbook for which there is no express sanction specifically provided in the NSL handbook, the disciplinary committee or arbitrator has a discretion on the appropriate sanction considering all relevant circumstances and range of possible sanctions in rule 57.13 of the NSL handbook.
“The disciplinary committee or arbitrator is not obliged to apply article 22 of the Fifa disciplinary code.”
The order read in parts: “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.”
Sutherland also ordered Polokwane to bear Sekhukhune’s legal costs.
Sutherland also confirmed the two Safe Arbitration Tribunal awards handed down by advocates Epstein and Cassim SC which affected the final log standings.
Speaking to the Pretoria News yesterday, Sekhukhune FC spokesperson Thina Ramantswana said the club’s executive were due to meet today.
“We have decided not to do media interviews as yet because the executive is meeting to discuss a way forward today. You must remember the PSL has not given us the trophy as yet so we will comment as soon as we are done with the meeting tomorrow.”