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Could there be another twist in Royal AM’s promotion saga?

FILE - Andile Mpisane with Shauwn Mkhize of Royal AM FC during the GladAfrica Championship 2020/21 game between Royal AM and Cape Town All Stars. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo via BackpagePix

FILE - Andile Mpisane with Shauwn Mkhize of Royal AM FC during the GladAfrica Championship 2020/21 game between Royal AM and Cape Town All Stars. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo via BackpagePix

Published Dec 2, 2021

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Durban - Royal AM legal representative Leruma Thobejane has said that the Court of Arbitration for Sport could listen to their case about potentially still being declared as winners of last season’s GladAfrica Championship.

A ruling by Judge Hilton Epstein in May deemed Sekhukhune and not Royal AM as the rightful winners of last season’s GladAfrica Championship. Royal AM were consigned to the PSL promotion/relegation playoffs which they did not turn up for. They eventually won promotion to the top-flight by virtue of buying the status of the now defunct Bloemfontein Celtic.

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Sekhukhune won last season’s second-tier as a result of a decision taken by Epstein to disqualify Polokwane from a game which the Limpopo side beat Sekhukhune. However, the three points were instead awarded to Sekhukhune as it was discovered that Polokwane did not field the required amount of five U23 players in their lineup.

“There’s a letter already from CAS that informs the other parties that Royal AM has paid its share of the arbitration costs – SAFA, the PSL and Sekhukhune must file their answers by December 20. The arbitration panel has been compiled and a judge appointed, all of them have signed declarations. I can confirm that the funds have been transferred as of yesterday,” said Thobejane.

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Thobejane further indicated that potential action could have a serious impact on the league.

“We don’t know what the PSL will do, it’s up to them to nullify the season or not. If the award is in favour of Royal AM, then the club will take it’s automatic position as being promoted to the topflight, Sekhukhune will be entitled to a play-off. What the PSL does has nothing to do with me, effectively the league could be declared null and void, but I am not saying that’s what should happen, although the consequences might be that,” he said.

@eshlinv

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