We should not have played Sundowns on Tuesday: Maritzburg owner Kadodia protests

17 May 2023 - 14:24
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Maritzburg United owner Farook Kadodia says there is a conflict of interest in the PSL management.
Maritzburg United owner Farook Kadodia says there is a conflict of interest in the PSL management.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Maritzburg United chair Farook Kadodia is upset the Premier Soccer League has allowed them to finish the season a few days before other clubs.

This is despite Maritzburg gaining a valuable point in a 1-1 draw against champions Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday.

The point may go a long way in saving the KwaZulu-Natal outfit from straight relegation, after it put them one point clear of fellow strugglers Chippa United and Marumo Gallants, who are 16th and 15th on the table respectively with 29 points.

The Maritzburg/Sundowns match was moved to Tuesday because Sundowns will be hosting Moroccan giants Wydad Athletic in the second leg of the Caf Champions League semifinal on Saturday — the same day the PSL officially concludes its league programme. 

Chippa will host Lamontville Golden Arrows in Gqeberha and Gallants will visit Swallows FC in Soweto in their last matches on Saturday. Win or draw for both clubs will relegate Maritzburg who have an inferior goal difference of -16. 

“The date of our match against Sundowns should have been reviewed,” said Kadodia after their match at the Loftus Stadium on Tuesday.

“We could have, together with the other two teams (Chippa and Gallants) fighting relegation, played our last matches next week on the 23rd of May. That would have been fair and I believe the broadcaster would have been happy because it’s three teams fighting relegation. 

“We suggested that we either play tonight (Tuesday) or alternatively on the 23rd (May) and we were turned down. You cannot give two other clubs who are fighting relegation an advantage four days before they play.”

Kadodia added that they played their match against Sundowns under protest because they never accepted the PSL’s argument that there were no alternative dates.

“We needed to place it on record that we’re quite upset and disappointed to have played this match tonight (Tuesday) knowing very well that there are other teams who’ll have an unfair advantage.

“ The league must respond to the protest that we filed before our match against Sundowns.

“We’ve explained in writing our disappointment. We’ve responded to each point that the league sent to us that we felt it’s not valid for us to accept. The ball is now in their court. We don’t have to go and fight in the boardroom right now. 

“The league has to find an alternative to how this can be resolved. That’s why we put the pressure today (Tuesday), to say ‘look we have six hours to see whether this game can carry on or not’. We didn’t want to go to the court and put an interdict and stop the game, no.”

Kadodia said he’s not yet decided on what decision he’ll take if Chippa and Marumo win their matches on Saturday.

“I can’t comment on that now. Our main issue was, irrespective of the result tonight, we’re upset about playing the game. So whether we lost, drew or won, we would have stood by the same point that it was not right to play the game tonight.”

The PSL leadership was also criticised by Kadodia, who said he would have preferred an independent tribunal to decide whether they needed to play against Sundowns on Tuesday. 

“I don’t want to repeat this, but we have a person who, as an owner of the club is controlling the affairs of the league. I don’t want to get into unnecessary trouble, but all I can say is that here is the interest of the clubs at stake and this decision (of playing Sundowns on Tuesday) should have come from an independent tribunal.

“It doesn’t have to come from the acting CEO (Mato Madlala, the boss of Arrows) or other people who have their own interests. Golden Arrows, of the same acting CEO, are playing against Chippa in the last game and we all know that.

“The PSL has an issue of its own because it’s a conflict of interest where certain leadership (positions) have to be addressed. And this is the issue for all clubs and the board of governors to raise. I can’t do it single-handedly.”

Kadodia added it is not the first time his club had to fight relegation and he claims that some people have been making it difficult for Maritzburg to remain in the top-flight. 

“For 20 years I’ve been fighting relegation but with the help of some divine intervention I’ve survived,” he said.

“Maritzburg must be welcomed in this league for the good image that we give the PSL. We need to be applauded for it, because we contribute a lot positively to the image of football in SA. We’ve done a lot to make the PSL proud and we’d like to continue.”


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