The PSL initially 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 thedisciplinary hearing was subsequently postponed.
Advocate Nassir Cassim SC has been appointed as the arbitrator in the matter, with the DC matter postponed pending the outcome of the arbitration.
According to an exclusive for MTN FC, respected writer Mark Gleeson reports that Cassim, “sitting as the South African Football Association’s arbitrator, has ruled the games be played, saying in his judgement a sporting solution was the best outcome in this matter and best served football and the players. But he did castigate Chiefs for not better engaging with the opposing teams ahead of the scheduled game and trying to work out a solution beforehand.”
The decision will reportedly now be discussed at an emergency meeting of the PSL executive committee on Tuesday, where conversations are likely to revolve around the fact that previous sanctions were handed down to clubs who did not fulfil fixtures because of Covid cases, with many having expected to see Chiefs punished through a points forfeit.
Instead, with Chiefs recently claiming an important 2-1 win over Pirates, they are now third on the DStv Premiership standings, still 16 points behind Sundowns, but with four games in hand over the log-leaders.
Stuart Baxter believes the outcome could be key in terms of keeping Chiefs’ title hopes alive.
“I run the risk of being branded a complete fool for thinking this but the two games that we couldn’t play could go anywhere, we don’t know what is going to happen regarding that situation.
“We have to bring pressure to bear on Sundowns. If we can beat Pirates, which we have and if we are given those two games (in hand) to play, it’s a potential six points. And if we have to play Sundowns one more time, if we can beat them in that game and keep breathing down their neck, maybe they will drop a few points.
“They’re engaged on more than one front, they know that it’s their league to lose. I’d be a fool to say we are going to (win the league). What we are going to do we’re going to breathe down their neck as long as we can, as hard as we can, so that when we actually play them it means something.”
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs Marketing Director Jessica Motaung had reiterated Amakhosi did the right thing in postponing matches during December.
“We are confident of winning the case because we followed the laws and did what was best for everyone,” Motaung said previously, as quoted by the Daily Sun.
“We look forward to winning the case, and we have nothing to worry about. The case is ongoing, but we followed the rules of the country.
“We care about our players and the opposition, and Covid-19 put us under pressure, and we could not risk our team.”
Recently, Baxter had called for flexibility when it comes to the arbitration ruling related to Chiefs’ missed matches in December.
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.