The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
ZIFA Southern Region Division One side, Talen Vision have been advised to apply for condonation for late launching of their appeal to the association’s disciplinary committee.
A condonation (or a condonance) is a defence argument sometimes made when an accuser has previously forgiven or chosen to ignore an act about which they are now legally complaining. Talen Vision believe Bulawayo City, who won the 2019 Zifa Southern Region title flouted football rules by using suspended players in some of their matches last season and should be docked points, which will give Talen Vision the passage to the Premier Soccer League.
Talen Vision have to provide valid reasons why their appeal should be allowed to stand. Zifa had written to their legal advisers, Ngarava, Moyo and Chikono seeking guidance on how to treat the Talen Vision appeal and were told the club has to go back to the Southern Region disciplinary body.
Talen Vision allege that during the course of the season, Bulawayo City used suspended players in some of their league games and they claim to have overwhelming evidence to support their case. They wrote to Zifa after feeling they had been hard done by the Southern Region executive. The club accused the Zifa Southern Region office of tampering with records in favour of Bulawayo City, the league’s eventual winners.
According to the legal opinion, the lawyers said while Talen Vision lodged their complaint seven days after the incident it did not invalidate the grievance.
“In accordance with clause 16.1.1 Talen Vision was supposed to lodge its complaint within 7 days of the date of incident complained of. The complaint was supposed to be accompanied by a fee of US$100-00. In accordance with clause 16.1.1 only the failure to pay the fee of US$100-00 invalidates the complaint. The lodging of the complaint upon the expiry of the 7 days period does not automatically invalidate the complaint,” reads part of the opinion.
The lawyers noted that the Southern Region executive was within its rights to decline the Talen Vision complaint as the “league is empowered to decline to accept any complaint that does not comply with the provision of clause 16.1.1. The power is derived from clause 16.2”.
Talen Vision wrote to Zifa chief executive officer Joseph Mamutse seeking assistance in the verification of the records at the regional office after being rebuffed by the executive.
“The league’s position of declining to entertain the complaint was procedural. The complaint was raised outside the requisite 7 days period provided for in the rules and regulations. Talen Vision was supposed to proceed in accordance with the provisions of clause 16.6, which accords Talen Vision the right to appeal against the decision of the league,” reads part of the legal opinion sent to Zifa dated 31 January 2020.
The note goes on to read: “For the avoidance of doubt, now that Talen Vision is out of time to lodge the appeal, if it desires to proceed with this route, it has to apply for condonation for late noting of the appeal. The appeal should be lodged to the Southern Region disciplinary committee for consideration. The procedure is provided for in clause 18 of the rules and regulations. Further, the provision of clause 32.1 shall apply as well. Where the Southern Region rules and regulations are silent on a particular issue, reference to the Zifa constitution shall be made.
“We therefore advise that Talen Vision cannot approach Zifa without exhausting all the domestic remedies available to it. Talen Vision can only proceed by way of an appeal to the Southern Region disciplinary committee if it so wishes to pursue its matter.”