Richards Bay earned the easiest three points they will ever get in professional football on Thursday afternoon, but they were not entirely happy.
Their coach Allan Freese said they would have preferred to sweat for the points instead of just picking them up without even kicking the ball. The Natal Rich Boys are set to be awarded a walkover Royal AM again failed to turn up for the playoff encounter at Chatsworth Stadium on Thursday at 3pm.
“We have prepared for the game and we are going there,” said Freese, who has taken charge of the team for the playoffs, on Thursday morning.
“We have been preparing well for the game and we are aiming for a win to get our campaign back on track,” he added.
“It has been difficult because we don’t know if we will play or not… we know we might be awarded a walk-over but we would have loved to play. The players want to play and not earn points like this. But we will do what we are instructed to do.”
Royal AM made it clear that they will not honour the playoffs as they consider them to be in contravention of the constitution and laws of the country. Phakaaathi understands that Royal AM were instead playing a friendly in their hometown that kicked off at 11am.
Royal AM are adamant that they have a valid interdict against the continuation of the promotion playoffs, while they have a matter pending in court. If the matter turns out in their favour, Royal AM will get automatic promotion and Sekhukhune United will have to play Richards Bay and Chippa United in the playoffs.
The Premier Soccer Leage, however, are adamant that the interdict fell away when Royal AM’s first leave to appeal the ruling that installed Sekhukhune as GladAfrica Championship winners was rejected by a court last weekend.
Royal AM were supposed to play Chippa on Tuesday, but also pulled a no show and the Chilli Boys were awarded three goals and three points after a walkover.
Richards Bay led the Championship title race for the better part of the season, but tripped towards the end and slipped off. They finished third and got another chance via the playoffs. Freese says he found a downbeat dressing. room when he arrived but that the players are looking forward to making amends via the playoffs.
“When I got to the team, the mood was low because of what had happened. But I spoke to them and told them that they can either stay sorry, or look up and use the playoffs to fix the situation. They chose the latter. But it is difficult to keep them focused with what’s happening,” added Freese.