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MBABANE – Elite rookies Mbabane Citizens feel the EFA Disciplinary Committee erred in finding them guilty of causing the abandonment of their opening MTN League match.

Citizens had the game against Moneni Pirates abandoned as the referee called it off as per FIFA laws that only 11 players per team start a match but if they are less than seven there shall be cancellation.

“We’re not satisfied at all and we will exercise our right to appeal as soon as we get the written verdict from the DC. We believe the article we’ve been found guilty under in the MTN League Rules and Regulations does not cater for the situation we have against Pirates.

“They charged us with Article 4 (18) but that rule is only about throwing missiles and attacking match officials or players not about a match abandoned without intent. We believe this qualifies under unforeseen circumstances as per Article 4 (8) which speaks to a match called off by the referee due to natural causes or unforeseen circumstances. We never knew our players would get injured,” explained Citizens’ Board of Governor at PLE, Mandla Simelane.

He said they had already consulted with lawyers and were advised to file the appeal as they believed they were wrongly charged, as much as the match was abandoned but it was not their intention that the two players got injured, leaving them with six after starting with eight.
Citizens lost the case which carries a fine of E50 000 but had E20 000 suspended in case they are not found to have committed same offence.

The EFA DC further gave the three points and three goals to Pirates, who were leading 2-0 after 53 minutes when match was called off.
PLE COO Pat Vilakati said every club had the right to appeal as per the laws of the game otherwise there was no further comment.

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