What are Makola’s chances on appeal?

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FARPost.co.za can confirm that midfielder Mpho Makola’s six months ban by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) is going to be a subject of an appeal.

This website has been informed that Cape Town City will launch the appeal to challenge only the sentence.

Makola was found guilty of assaulting match official, Abongile Tom, during the Telkom Knockout fixture against Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town Stadium on October 19, 2019.

“They are not going to challenge the guilty verdict… the player pleaded guilty, but they feel the sentence is harsh,” a source told FARPost.

The National Soccer League rules are clear on the sentence for assaulting a match official.

However, our sources claim that Cape Town City are confident that the sentence could be reduced on a number of basis, including that the referee’s report (compiled by Abongile Tom) stated that he wasn’t assaulted and didn’t feel threatened.

In footage picked up from the match highlights, Makola can be seen attacking the referee, Tom.

This was confirmed in Cape Town City’s scathing statement after the ban was confirmed.

“Even in the match report (after having time to reflect and revisit the incident) the referee documents his decision against Mpho as simply misconduct.

“After a penalty was awarded for Kaizer Chiefs, Mpho ran towards the ref and, in an attempt to get the referee’s attention, shoves him in manner that clearly warrants a red card. Bothered by what was clearly a lenient decision (to give him only a yellow card), Mpho understood the severity of his misconduct and called the referee immediately after the game to express his endless remorse over a single action which was at complete odds with the Mpho Makola all South Africans know,” read City’s statement.

The League is on record saying the club may be charged for the comments made in their statement.

City, however, are also backed by the SA Football Players’ Union (Safpu), who will also fight Makola’s cause.

After receiving the report & engaging both the player & manager, our view is that this matter has the potential to set a wrong precedence if not appealed. Furthermore, we are convinced that legally there are higher prospects of success in the matter & justice must be pursued,” stated the Union.

In a related matter that happened abroad recently, Fiorentina’s Franck Ribery was banned for three matches and fined 20,000 euros (R326 000) after pushing an assistant referee following his side’s 2-1 defeat by Lazio.

Ribery has been banned for 3 matches for shoving a referee.

Locally, Mabhuti Khenyeza’s 12-month ban was lifted by SA Football Association’s appeals board in 2013.

As reported at the time, Khenyeza was initially banned from active football by the PSL disciplinary committee after he was found guilty of swearing and spitting at assistant referee Zakhele Siwela in April 2013, while he was still playing for Ajax Cape Town.

Whether Makola has a leg to stand on remains to be seen…

For now, there’s no confirmation that an appeal has been lodged, but it’s certainly happening.

By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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