Downs face fine as Celtic lose appeal

Bloemfontein Celtic have lost their protest at arbitration against Mamelodi Sundowns following the drama that marked the ineligibility of Downs defender Tebogo Langerman to feature in the Nedbank Cup final at Orlando Stadium early this month.

At the end of cup final match, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane refused to shoulder the blame that saw the suspended player included among the substitutes on the bench on their way to winning the trophy.

The victory was bitter-sweet for the Brazilians after Siwelele lodged a protest and the matter was heard by the Premier Soccer League disciplinary hearing but later reached the South African Football Association arbitration, where it was thrown out, with Celtic hoping to have the result overturned.

Langerman was sitting on five yellow cards. He was, however, not fielded when the decision to play him was rescinded by Mosimane and his technical team in the dugout.

“We lost the protest on a technicality. According to the NSL Handbook, a protest should be lodged 30 minutes before kick-off,” said Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco.

“The arbitrator looked at the rules governing protesting against an eligible player at the NSL Handbook, we protested in the second half, so that’s how we lost the battle.”

Sundowns are believed to have admitted guilt for including a suspended player on their team sheet and face a heavy fine. Judgment has been reserved for today. The Brazilians could escape with a fine of probably R100 000.

The cup final victory completed what Mosimane had been looking to achieve this season, a treble for Downs since winning the Telkom Cup last year and the league championship, in a campaign marked by teams having to stay for six weeks in the PSL Coronavirus bio-bubble.

Sundowns have qualified for the seventh successive African inter-club competition CAF Champions League spot after winning the continental premier trophy in 2016, while Phunya Sele Sele will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup next season by virtue of reaching the cup final.

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