Moroka Swallows charge players over cancelled PSL fixtures

Moroka Swallows charge players over cancelled PSL fixtures

Moroka Swallows has formally charged its players over the two DStv Premiership fixtures that were officially postponed by the Premier Soccer League last week.

Just hours prior to their scheduled match away to Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Stadium on Wednesday, it was confirmed by the League via a statement that the game had been cancelled due to Swallows being unable to field a team. 

ICYMI: Moroka Swallows financial troubles leads to PSL fixtures cancellation

The Dube Birds then admitted to “an ongoing dispute” between the club and players over unpaid December salaries, and Saturday's fixture against Golden Arrows was subsequently also called off as a precaution.

On Saturday night, team manager Elasto Kapowezha – instructed by the Swallows hierarchy – served each player with a letter confirming charges against them for being part of “an illegal strike” as well as “misconduct” that brought the club, sponsors and the PSL into disrepute in what signalled another dark day for South African football.

According to Nhlanhla Shabalala, the general secretary of the SA Football Players’ Union [SAFPU], speaking to SABC Sport as the drama unfolded, the players had been promised outstanding payments by 22 December on the back of another strike earlier this month before Swallows faced SuperSport United. 

Coach Steve Komphela also confirmed at the time that his squad had failed to train for at least 10 days leading up to that fixture, which they eventually lost 2-1 at Dobsonville Stadium. 

The PSL rules are clear, that a request to have a match postponed ought to come some 10 days in advance to allow the Executive Committee to deliberate the merits, and liaise with the broadcast partners and sponsors. 

Given that Swallows management, led by chairman David Mogashoa, and the players were still locked in a meeting the morning of their match against Sundowns on Wednesday, the Soweto outfit are set to be charged by PSL prosecutor Zola Majavu for breaking the rules. 

According to the NSL Handbook, the Dube Birds face a fine, docking of points or expulsion from the league – however, as of this weekend, Majavu had not yet formally charged the club. 

Sundowns are also likely to expect a walkover and three points, agfter they turned up for the match at Loftus and line-up on the the pitch, completed their usual protocol and then walked back into the dressing room in the presence of match officials assigned by the PSL. 

Mogashoa declined to comment when approached by SABC Sport

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