City's battle with PSL over shirt sponsorship to drag on past end of the season
The arbitration into Cape Town City signing a sponsorship with a sports betting company‚ SportPesa‚ will be held on June 6‚ South African Football Association (Safa) legal officer Tebogo Motlanthe has said.
City have been brought to a Safa arbitration by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for signing a sponsorship with a betting company without asking permission from the league‚ as per PSL guidelines.
“The hearing is on June 6‚” Motlanthe said.
“A hearing on May 19 was held to set a date‚ and also to exchange documents.”
Motlanthe said he did not expect the matter to be resolved on June 6‚ but at least within days of it.
“It may drag for some days but it should be finalised [around then]‚” he said.
The PSL prosecution in February amended the charge sheet for City owner John Comitis to also be part of the proceedings‚ along with the club.
An initial hearing was held on February 7‚ but postponed because Comitis and his attorney were indisposed.
This being a full-blown arbitration‚ Comitis and City‚ in terms of the Arbitration Act‚ had to provide their defences to the arbitrator beforehand.
City face the possibility‚ as a worst-case scenario‚ of expulsion or relegation from the PSL.
The PSL asserts that a resolution was passed eight years ago that no club would sign a sports betting company as a sponsor without permission until the league had carried out an investigation into the issue.
This investigation was never carried out.
City did not ask permission to sign the deal with SportPesa.
A charge of defiance in National Soccer League (NSL) rules can see the club expelled if found guilty.
City have also continued to wear the SportPesa logo on their shirts‚ despite never having‚ as required by PSL rules‚ the kit approved by the league‚ and having been directly instructed not to.
This could result in City being deducted three points per game where they have worn the kit‚ and automatic relegation to the National First Division.