Ajax had won a previous case heard by Judge Denise Fischer, who set aside SAFA Arbitrator William Mokhari’s award that saw the club docked seven points and subsequently relegated from the Absa Premiership, while referring Ndoro’s eligibility to FIFA’s Players' Status Committee (PSC).
What happened in court on Thursday?
The PSL lodged an application for leave-to-appeal on the above judgement, which was heard on Thursday (09h00) by the same Judge Fischer, who then granted the application on the basis that the interpretation of the FIFA and SAFA Statutes “has some prospects of success on appeal”.
This came as a boost to the League’s hopes of proceeding with the 2018/19 season as scheduled, with Black Leopards included as the promoted team, in accordance with Mokhari’s arbitration award.
Meanwhile, the Urban Warriors had on Tuesday stood down their urgent application to interdict the start of the 2018/19 season, pending the outcome of the PSL’s leave-to-appeal hearing, and returned to Judge Phanuel Mudau on Thursday at 11h30.
Upon the leave-to-appeal being granted, Ajax subsequently withdrew their interdict application and thus stood down from their fight to stop the season from kicking off on August 4.
The Cape-based club then returned to Judge Fischer at 12h30 to launch what is known as a ‘Section 18 application’, which in essence is an application to uphold a previous judgement until a new judgement is handed down on an appeal, but this too was withdrawn.
What now for Ajax?
Ajax may have lost one more battle and backed out of a further two but are still in the ‘war’, with the club having an opportunity to win the appeal, which will be heard once the Gauteng Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo grants the urgent application and assigns three judges to the bench, before determining a court date.
What happens when the appeal is over?
Should Ajax win the appeal, Judge Fischer’s setting aside of Mokhari’s arbitration ruling will be upheld, with theirs and Black Leopards’ positions undetermined, pending a binding outcome from a higher authority.
Should the PSL win the appeal, Mokhari’s arbitration award will stand and Ajax will have to honour their relegation, unless they take the matter on further appeal to a higher authority.
Should the upcoming appeal not yield a truce, higher authorities include the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa, the FIFA PSC, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and ultimately the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (where CAS are based).
Where does this leave Ndoro?
Ndoro, having been released from his two-year contract at Ajax last month, is now a free agent and is able to join any club of his choice.
Hypothetically, should the matter end up going to FIFA, the 32-year-old could face retrospective sanctions in respect of a fine or possible suspension, depending on the findings of the relevant bodies. However, this too could then be taken on appeal by the player or the club he has signed with.