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Ajax’s foreign players back in the game after visa problems but AmaZulu says clubs must get used to new visa rules

Ajax’s foreign players back in the game after visa problems but AmaZulu says clubs must get used to new visa rules

Ajax’S Foreign Players Back In The Game After Visa Problems But Amazulu Says Clubs Must Get Used To New Visa Rules


Ajax Cape Town announced on Thursday that the work visa problems of some of their foreign players have been resolved.

The soccer team, Urban Warriors, have been benched while after the new South African visa and immigration legislation left them unable to participate in the team’s games.

Soccorladuma.com announced on their website that the change in visa regulations caught a number of players off guard but the situation has been resolved this week.

Good news for fans is that the missing team members will be back at their post for the next ABSA Premiership clash against Chippa United.

The only foreign player who was able to represent the team was goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola. But to the relieve of the team, the management and fans Ajax players Ionee Robin Ngalande, Noah Sadaoui and Milton Ncube will be back in the game in time for their league fixture against Port Elizabeth’s Chippa United side. The match is scheduled to kick off on Friday evening.

The website said in their statement that the Siya crew will keep monitoring the progress of the rest of the league’s foreign players and bring you latest news regarding their registration status.

Earlier this month Independent Online reported on the situation saying Premier Soccer League clubs reported that they had been experiencing difficulty in registering some of their foreign players as they had not been issued with work permits. The problem seems to stem from a delay on the part of the specific club and not the Department of Home Affairs.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs told Independent Online that clubs who applied for work permits for their players well in advance had not had any problems.

The situation meant that some PSL teams earlier this month started their season without the on-field support of their international players.

According to the specifications of the South African visa which were set in play on 26 May this year meant that PSL clubs wanting general work permits for players need to provide proof that their recruits possess skills that South African players do not have.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has said the new regulations had been introduced to protect the country’s economic interests and regulate the influx of “economic migrants” who pose as asylum seekers.

Ajax chief executive Ari Efstathiou said the trio of Urban Warriors players were in the country on visitors’ visas. He said the new laws made it cumbersome and expensive to secure work permits.

“I do not think that this was the intention, but obviously it has not been carefully thought through, especially when it comes to sporting codes like soccer. We cannot wait two or three months to acquire a work permit for a player who needs to get on the field as soon as he is transferred to the club.

The club’s spokesman, Brian Zuma, said: “We have three players whose applications have not been processed. We are entirely dependent on Home Affairs to expedite the process. With the new system the application processes are taking longer.”

But speaking on behalf of AmaZulu Football Club Philani Mabaso said clubs had a responsibility to renew visas in time.

“It does not affect the clubs that much. Clubs have a responsibility to renew permits for foreign players, and in that sense this will affect us. This should last a couple of weeks – before you know it, clubs will be used to it.

 

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