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Herentals approach Zifa again

26 Mar, 2020 - 00:03 0 Views

The Herald

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter

HERENTALS are expected to lodge another notice of appeal with ZIFA today fighting the decision by the Premier Soccer League to kick them out of their family.

The club was expelled on Tuesday on allegations of breaching the league’s rules and regulations which prohibit clubs and officials from taking football matters to the courts of law.

The Students approached the High Court, at the height of their match-fixing saga, last year.

Club secretary-general, Fainos Madhumbu, yesterday said they will fight the latest decision, which came days after the ZIFA Appeals board had overturned the initial PSL Disciplinary Committee judgment.

That ruling had found the Students guilty of allegedly manipulating their league match against Black Rhinos last year.

Madhumbu said they now suspect the PSL Disciplinary Committee was displaying a “vindictive” attitude towards them.

“We are going to file a notice of appeal via ZIFA tomorrow (today). Our lawyers are handling the case,” said Madhumbu.

“It’s very clear, the PSL Disciplinary Committee is being vindictive here and we don’t even know why they are targeting Herentals.

“When important matters are dealt with this way, everything ceases to be about football.

“It’s like they were waiting to see what would come out of the Appeals Board and, if their initial attempt to expel the club failed, then they play the next card.

“This judgment was only released after we had won our appeal against demotion in that long-drawn match-fixing issue, which I felt also lacked merit.

“This issue was heard long back and why did they hold back their judgment until after the ZIFA Appeals board had released theirs?’’

He said they suspect this was now an abuse of the PSL judicial system.

“Remember there have also been some funny and weird allegations from Bulawayo Chiefs, which were never corroborated,’’ he said.

“Everything points to desperation to have Herentals kicked out.

“But, if they think we are going to give up, then they will need to think again. We will fight until justice is done.”

Herentals were virtually demoted last year after they were found guilty by the PSL in a match-fixing saga that involved Black Rhinos.

The club was accused of trying to manipulate results of their match against Rhinos.

They went on to win the game 3-0.

However, the PSL disciplinary committee docked them three points and fined them $300 000 after a full trial.

That meant they would have gone into Division One.

Oliver Chirenga, the man who was alleged to be the middleman in the scam, was fined $20 000 and slapped with a 10-year ban.

Herentals approached the High Court for justice while also taking their case to the ZIFA Appeals Board.

However, the league said their regulations encouraged aggrieved parties to follow football channels when some disputes arose.

Herentals apologised and advised they were withdrawing the matter from the courts.

Their appeal was heard by the ZIFA Appeals Board led by lawyer, Stead Kachere, and they were cleared of any wrong doing last Friday.

But before the dust had settled, the club was slapped with another notice of expulsion after the PSL disciplinary committee found them guilty of contravening Article 53.1 of the PSL Statutes which states that:

“PSL, its members, players’ officials and match and player’s agents will not take any dispute to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the statutes and FIFA regulations.

“Any disagreement shall be submitted to the jurisdiction of PSL, ZIFA, CAF, and FIFA.

“The club pleaded guilty to the offence and the PSL DC noted that the club had not withdrawn the matter from the courts.’’

The club was also fined $100 000.

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