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Wed Sep 28 19:05:24 SAST 2016

Safa boss Mumble says Ajax could be thrown out of PSL over CAF snub

Mninawa Ntloko | 09 February, 2016 10:12
Ari Efstathiou (CEO) and Alexi Efstathiou (Chief Commercial Officer) during the Ajax Cape Town training session at Ikamva on July 23, 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image by: Grant Pitcher / Gallo Images

The South African Football Association (Safa) is preparing “to throw the book” at Ajax Cape Town if the club fails to honour an away African Confederation Cup fixture against Sagrada Esperanca in Angola on Saturday.

Incensed Safa CEO Dennis Mumble told TMG Digital on Monday that they have several options at their disposal and they could even ask the Premier Soccer League to remove Ajax from the top-flight roster if the Cape club continues to persist with attempts to withdraw from the continental tournament.

“For us to be disrespected in this manner is just not on‚” a livid Mumble said.

“Our position is they will not be allowed to withdraw from this competition. I made it clear when I met them (on Monday) that I am very angry. The rules are very clear here and the consequences will be massive if they do not get on that plane to Angola.”

Ajax officials claimed they feared for the safety of their players and announced an intention not to travel to Angola in a statement issued on Friday.

This action only served to infuriate Mumble further and the Safa CEO said they were not amused that Ajax elected to communicate their intentions via the media instead of speaking to the mother body first.

“I am charging them for violating the communications protocols in that regard. This is just the first step and I intend to take further action against them. We are really not happy and we will take disciplinary action against them.”

Ajax claimed in the withdrawal statement they issued last week that the communication between themselves and their Angolan hosts was poor and attempts to get final word on travel arrangements had failed.

They further claimed that Dundo‚ the match venue‚ is some 1200km away from the capital Luanda and they could not be expected to travel a distance like that by bus.

But Mumble said this was puzzling as the Angola club disputed the Cape club’s version of events.

TMG Digital has seen a copy of an email sent by the Angolans disputing Ajax’s claims.

Ajax officials did not return messages on Monday night and even club chief commercial officer Alexi Efstathiou‚ who met Mumble and other Safa officials on Monday‚ did not answer his mobile or return the text messages sent to his phone.

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