Watch: Royal AM squad skids away from PSL playoff game [video]
Royal AM players did it for MaMkhize but the question remains, is this fair on Chippa United?
The nation’s attention was turned to the dramatic scenes that unfolded outside Chatsworth Stadium, in Durban, where Royal AM squad members were seen skidding off in their luxury cars, only moments before their scheduled playoff match against Chippa United FC was set to kick off.
Watch: Royal AM players drive off from Chatsworth Stadium
In what left many football fans gob-smacked, the Royal AM squad was seen leaving the stadium where they were up against a Chippa United side that was kitted out, ready to fight for a place in the DStv Premiership.
YI FILM!!!#FARPost can confirm that the Royal AM bus has left the stadium with the players, soon after arriving. No reasons given yet.— FARPost_ZA (@FARPostZA) June 22, 2021
Even some club officials have left. It's only Chippa United players on the pitch. #PlayOffs pic.twitter.com/GgoWlSjWMY
Royal AM busy with Content for Kwa Mamkhize session 2, they have no time for playoffs. pic.twitter.com/GeRwwXy4o4— Matima Moloko (@Matima_Moloko) June 22, 2021
The Gqeberha-based team came out in their jerseys and boots to a field that was not occupied by their opponents. The match was scheduled to kick off at 15:00 but the televised broadcast went on with nothing but a group of bewildered players, taken aback by Royal AM’s brazen showing.
🔴 BREAKING 🔴— robertmarawa (@robertmarawa) June 22, 2021
Game has kicked off and followed all due protocols….And game has ended. Chippa United have complied whilst there has been a no-show from Royal AM….
Over to u PSL.
🤡 🎪 🤡 pic.twitter.com/10dYY3wbHD
Royal AM protests against PSL: Where it all started
Royal AM has been on a tosser with the PSL over a playoff fixture it was forced to participate in after a technical discrepancy resulted in a three-point deduction on the football club’s tally in the GladAfrica Championship.
With this deduction, Royal AM was pushed out of the summit of the league table and forced to fight for a spot in the DStv Premiership after they had — until this epic blunder — automatically eased through to the apex championship tournament.
Chairperson of the Durban-based football club Shauwn Mkhize, in an Instagram post published on Monday, had made it vehemently clear that she was in no way willing to comply to a turnaround ruling made by deputy judge president Roland Sutherland on Friday 18 June 2021.
Sutherland had overturned an earlier ruling made by Gauteng High Court judge JS Nyathi four days earlier, where Royal AM’s request for automatic promotion was granted.
In a letter released by Mabuza Attorneys, the firm representing Royal AM, the squad’s u-turn was described as a direct boycott against the PSL’s attempt to force down a playoff game in the midst of an ongoing court case.
“The judgment of Sutherland DJP is automatically suspended also on the basis of the application served on yourselves which is currently pending before the Supreme Court of Appeals,” the statement read.
The PSL, when this article was published, had not issued a response to Tuesday’s dramatic scenes that took place at Chatsworth Stadium.
Is the playoff match against Chippa United taking place?
There are a number of conflicting reports around this playoff match. Insiders who spoke to Times Live claim that, despite the public defiance shown by Royal AM in recent weeks, the football club was more than likely going to oblige with the rules and compete in the fixture.
However, Tuesday’s turnout placed a damper on this possibility. At this time, there has been no final confirmation on what the PSL’s stance is on the boycott. The Durban-based club will be expected to provide an update on the events that transpired on Tuesday and give clarity on its plans.
Currently, nothing has emerged from any of the camps involved in this bizarre showing.