SOUTH Africa: Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral says striker Tendai Ndoro is keeping upbeat despite the controversy surrounding him, and remains hopeful the club will still be able to use him this season.
The matter of the Zimbabwean’s eligibility has gone back and forth in recent months, with world football governing body FIFA also getting involved, although their ruling referred the matter back to “competent authorities in South Africa”.
At present, Ajax are seeking to set aside a decision made by SAFA arbitrator Nassir Cassim at the end of March, which declared the PSL DRC – who initially gave the green light for Ndoro to play – did not have jurisdiction to handle the matter, with the result of this hearing expected to be known by Monday.
Since arriving in the Mother City following a difficult spell at Saudi Arabian club Al Faisaly, the former Orlando Pirates forward has made six starts and two substitute appearances for the Urban Warriors, but last featured for the Cape club on 4 March as controversy surrounding his eligibility heightened.
Despite not featuring for over a month, Ertugral insists the 32-year-old is still positive, and hopes the player’s case will soon be resolved which will allow him to feature for the struggling club for the remainder of the campaign.
“He is a lovely person, and everyone wants a friendship with him, and he’s a nice human being,” Ertugral, who has always enjoyed a close relationship with the striker, said. “He is still encouraging everyone and is training really hard, he’s with the group, making jokes, and is a good boy.
“I told him he needs to stay focused, because in the end, we might have the situation where he can play the last three games – he wants to play, he’s eager, and hopefully once we get clarification, we can use him for the last three games.”
Ajax, who currently sit 15th in the Absa Premiership standings, host Baroka in their next league fixture on Tuesday evening, before seeing out the season away at Mamelodi Sundowns ahead of their last encounter at home to Kaizer Chiefs.