Perfect time to go back to an 18-team League – Efstathiou


Ajax Cape Town CEO Ari Efstathiou believes the current situation presents the National Soccer League with the best opportunity to consider an 18-team League set up.

When the Premier Soccer League was launched in 1996, they had an 18-team set up but was reduced to 16 teams in 2002 in order to address the issue of fixture congestion.

The League bought out Ria Stars and Free State Stars for R8-million each.

Speaking to SA FM Sport Programme Sport On, Efstathiou said the country has the capability to return back to 18 teams.

“It’s an option that needs to be considered, there is obviously cost implications to that, but I also believe that a country like ours should have always had an 18-team League, not a 16-team League,” said Efstathiou.

“So maybe this is the right opportunity to go back to an 18-team League so I think that’s a strong option that must be considered by the Board of Governors and although there is a cost issue to it, I think it really needs to be considered.

The Urban Warriors are currently top of the GladAfrica Championship with six matches remaining and Efstathiou said they want to be promoted if the League does not resume.

“Without a doubt, I mean it’s fair to say out of the six remaining games we have four at home and two away. I think I saw an article by the Chairman of Swallows saying it will be unfair to allow Ajax to be promoted while all other teams sit and watch but the bottom line is, we are leading by 7 points and yes they can catch us but it’s like we have to lose all our games which is extremely unlikely,” he said.

The Premier Soccer League Board of Governors will have an extra-ordinary meeting on Friday, 24 July starting at 12:00.

The BOG is expected to discuss amongst other things, a way forward regarding the resumption of football.

RELATED STORY: It will be unfair to nullify the league – Efstathiou

By Ofhani Munyai

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