Seasoned midfielder Robert Ng’ambi’s team, Platinum Stars, has undermined its chances of reclaiming its South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) status through the back door.
Platinum lost 1-0 to National First Division side, Black Leopards, in the opening match of promotion/ relegation play-offs on Wednesday night.
Platinum, who are competing in the play-offs after replacing relegated Ajax Cape Town, who were docked points for fielding ineligible player Tendai Ndoro, succumbed to Phathutshedzo Nange’s 55th minute goal.
Now Ng’ambi and compatriot Gerald Phiri Junior, who is on loan at Platinum from Bidvest Wits, have a return leg against Leopards and two more matches against Jomo Cosmos to escape the drop.
However, it is unclear if the results will stand as South Africa media reports that Ajax have challenged in court the verdict which South Africa Football Association arbitrator, William Mokhari, made against the team on Tuesday.
Ndoro landed Ajax in trouble after breaching Fifa regulations by joining three teams in a calendar year after leaving Orlando Pirates to sign for Saudi Arabian club, Al-Faisaly, before jumping ship to Ajax in the just-ended 2017/18 season.
In South Africa’s 16-member top-flight league, a bottom-place finisher—previously Platinum— gets relegated automatically whereas 15th placed team competes for survival against number two and three clubs from the second tier league.
The overall winner of the play-offs joins the PSL alongside First Division champions. Highlands Park earned automatic PSL promotion from the First Division