On Tuesday evening, Safa’s appeals board found in favour of Leopards and awarded them the three points that had earlier been docked from Leopards’ tally by the PSL’s disciplinary committee, after the Limpopo outfit was found guilty of fielding a defaulter, Edgar Manaka, in their match against Batau FC on March 6, 2011.
“God is great… now we can focus on the Nedbank Cup final,” Leopards’ Chief Thidiela informed KickOff.com immediately after the verdict by Safa’s appeals board.
The PSL confirms the ruling by stating that: “The player’s registration was confirmed as having being proper on the basis of a clearance that was issued by Safa … Batau (the team that lodged the protest) has further right of appeal to arbitration which must be exercised within 72 hours.”
Leopards boss David Thidiela had categorically stated last week that Manaka’s registration was above board.
“We obtained confirmation from both Safa and the PSL that Edgar Manaka was a free agent and eligible to be registered with us. The entire case against Leopards has, with the greatest of respect, focused on suspicion and innuendo not supported by facts and an approach that would take South African football back to the days before the Bosman ruling in Europe and Coetzee case in South Africa,” he said at the time.
As it stands now, Leopards have 38 points, leapfrogging University of Pretoria into second place and most importantly, will now more than likely participate in the semifinals of the First Division promotional Play-offs. They will come up against either Vasco da Gama or Moroka Swallows in one of the two semifinals.
‘Tuks’, therefore, drop to third on the Inland Stream log on 37 points to Leopards’ 38 and the Pretoria side miss out on the Play-Offs.