Humble pie for ERSL Kangaroo Court

01 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Humble pie for ERSL Kangaroo Court The disciplinary committee is still to release its verdict on the matter to determine who gets promoted between Tenax and Bikita Minerals

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

THE Eastern Region Soccer League (ERSL) board’s kangaroo court which presided over the case of the use of an illegible player in a championship deciding match pitting Bikita Minerals and Grayham FC on November 18 last year, has, not only exposed shocking ineptness and impartiality of the board itself, but also the glaring shortcomings of the rules and regulation governing the game in the region.

According to the papers presented to the ZIFA Normalisation Committee’s disciplinary committee in the hearing where Tenax Football Club protested against ERSL’s decision, which this newspaper is in possession of, the ERSL is running under its own set of rules and regulations that are a world apart from the national ZIFA, Premier Soccer League and international standards.

Apparently, ERSL has two sets of rules and regulations, purportedly presented as ‘old’ and ‘new’.

In the first set of rules: “Rule 14 (1). If a player is fielded in a match despite being ineligible, the team to which the player belongs will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match (points are not awarded to the opposition) and paying the stipulated fine.

“The player may also be sanctioned.

“The offence and fine schedule for the same regulations on Section Two states that as follows: Offence: Use of unregistered/ineligible player or suspended player in the Eastern Region Division One.

“Action to be taken: Three points to be deducted and thrown away. A fine set by the league shall be imposed.”

Under the second set of ERSL Rules and Regulations: “The ERSL second set of Rules and Regulations:Rule 13 (1): If a player and players fielded in a match despite being ineligible, the team to which the player or players belong will be sanctioned by forfeiting the match and paying a stipulated fine. The player or players may also be sanctioned.

“The points ARE NOT AWARDED to the opposition if the player or players considered to be ineligible are identified during and or after the match.
The points ARE AWARDED to the opposition if the player or players considered to be ineligible are identified during inspection and the team insists that the player or players are eligible.

“Offence and Fine Schedule of the same Rule 2: Offence: Use of unregistered/ineligible player in an Eastern Region Division One fixture. Action to be taken: Three points will deducted and thrown away. A fine of $2 000 will be imposed.”

However, on ZIFA Statutes Article 58 – Disciplinary measures section: (2) For legal persons (g) a forfeiture (h)deduction of points, there is no provision of awarding of points to complainant.
According to the Premier Soccer League – a ZIFA affiliate league – Order 36 (1) (4): “Use of an unregistered player in a league match, three points will be deducted and thrown away and a fine set by the League from time to time”.

FIFA Code has it that: “A team sanctioned with a forfeiture is considered to have lost the match 3-0 in 11-aside football”, and there is no provision for awarding points to the complainant.

Clearly, points are awarded to complainants only in the Eastern Region.

It emerged in during the disciplinary hearing that the five-member Davison Muchena-led ERSL had no power to sit as a disciplinary commitee and therefore what they did in the adjudication of the matter was legal nihilism, rendering the process that ERSL bragged so much about, a legal nullity.

Given that one of their members was out of the country when the November 18 2023 hearing was convened, and two of the board members who sat in the hearing were actually present when the Bikita Minerals-Grayham match was played, and were more of witnesses, leaving just the chairman and his deputy, the impartiality of this process was highly questionable.

The impartiality of the ERSL was also noted by the ZIFA Normalisation Committee Disciplinary Committee as it charged its affiliate for: “Violating Rule 16.1 of the ERSL Division One Rules and Article 55 of the ZIFA Statute in that you failed to appoint a disciplinary Committee to deal with the problem that arose between Bikita Minerals and Grayham Football Club on November 18, 2023.

“Violating ZIFA Rules and Regulations in that you failed to give notice of attendance to a hearing to determine the issue between Bikita Minerals and Grayham Football Club for the purpose of ensuring that parties adequately prepare and if need be, enlist the services of a legal practitioner for representation.

“Violating Rule 4 of the ZIFA Rules and Regulations 2015 in that you failed to conduct a hearing in terms of the ZIFA Statutes to determine the above dispute.
“Infringing Tenax Football Club administrative right to be heard and to be informed of all decision affecting it.
“Violating Article 2 provision and of the ZIFA Statute in that you failed to observe the objectives of ZIFA.
“Violating Article 32 of the FIFA Rules and Regulations in that you failed to uphold and maintain the spirit of independence and impartiality contemplated by the FIFA Rules and Regulations.

“Violating ZIFA Statutes in that you failed to act reasonably and in a fair manner in your determination of the complaint by Tenax Football Club. This contravenes the objective of ZIFA as set out in the Article 2 of ZIFA Statutes.

“Violating Article 9.1 of the ZIFA Disciplinary Rules and Regulations in that you brought football into serious disrepute by failing to administer a championship match and subsequent disciplinary processes.”

The Muchena-led ERSL board adorned Bikita Minerals with the robes of 2023 ERSL champions in a controversial boardroom decision that left league action winners, Tenax lodging a complaint with the ZIFA Normalisation Committee.

The disciplinary committee was still to release its verdict at the time of going to print yesterday (Thursday).

 

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