Chiefs vs PSL: Worst-case scenario could see Amakhosi lose crucial points

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Chiefs were unable to honour two league matches against Golden Arrows and Cape Town City in December due to a widespread Covid-19 outbreak at their headquarters in Naturena.

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The PSL eventually announced that they had rejected Chiefs’ request to postpone the games, and the disciplinary hearing was originally set for 21 January. However, PSL Prosecutor Zola Majavu revealed that Amakhosi had referred the matter to arbitration at the SA Football Association (Safa), and the disciplinary hearing was subsequently postponed.

According to reports, advocate Nassir Cassim SC has now been appointed as the arbitrator in the matter, with the DC matter postponed pending the outcome of the arbitration.

“Advocate Cassim has been appointed to do the matter between Chiefs and PSL and it will be heard on 9 February. Both parties have agreed on Cassim and it’s all systems go now,” confirmed Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe.

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Chiefs are currently fourth on the DStv Premiership standings, but have only played 16 games

Recently, coach Stuart Baxter has called for flexibility when it comes to the arbitration ruling related to Chiefs’ missed matches, with the PSL disciplinary committee set to reconvene to deal with the issue on 25 February, “depending on the outcome of the arbitration,” according to prosecutor Zola Majavu

“It may well be that the matter may not proceed in the current format. Should the arbitration be finalised before then, the prosecutor was directed to communicate with the DC members as to the next intended course of action, mindful of the fact that no one at this stage knows what the outcome of that referral to the arbitration may be.”

Sundowns are runaway leaders in the DStv Premiership, but if matters don’t go in favour of Chiefs, Amakhosi could lose six points, while Cape Town City and Arrows could instead bank those points based on a 3-0 scoreline that may be awarded.

Should this be the case, Chiefs would inevitably fall down the standings in due course, while it would also serve as a massive blow to their prospects of claiming a Caf Champions League spot for next season.

Baxter has opened about the pending ruling, and stated it’s important that the PSL takes into consideration how other leagues have adapted their rules during the pandemic.

“I think that it would be easy for me to grasp that as a bit of an excuse Wouldn’t it? I could be all COVID, oh down to COVID,” he told journalists.

“[But] the whole globe, and global football, has been suffering. What I would say is that many leagues have been learning as they’ve gone along. They’ve made a ruling and then they’ve realised we’ve got to be more flexible than that. And many leagues have done that. 

“And I would just hope that we can do that in [South Africa] and I realise there is arbitration and all these things, so I can’t say too much. But I would hope that that will be the what comes out of this, that we move along with the knowledge we have of the situation. 

“Now, I don’t think there’s anybody in the [English] Premier League, who’ve had anywhere near [the outbreak] that we had. But there have been clubs that have had their games postponed and rearranged. 

“So I hope that we get we get to that point. If we don’t, we’ll have to deal with it. But I’m not going to use this as an excuse.”

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