By Carlos Kambaekwa
Ali Akan and his Namibian brigade at ambitious Inland Stream winners AK Football Club face a bleak future and the team’s much-publicised promotion to the South African Professional Soccer League (PSL) hangs in the balance.
Akan’s team and its owner, Aziz Kara, were found guilty of bribery and corruption by the PSL Disciplinary Committee last week after the club was accused of having dangled a N$20,000 carrot in the face of Witbank Black Aces goalkeeper Michel Babale to throw a match in December last year.
AK FC won the said – with Babale a notable absentee as Aces replaced the veteran goalkeeper with his understudy Tsietsi Diale, a move that was claimed as a precautionary measure.
The PSL Disciplinary Committee remains tight-lipped as to how the verdict would affect the team’s eagerly awaited two-legged play-off match against their Coastal Stream counterparts.
The PSL Disciplinary Committee is expected to hand down its punishment on Wednesday.
Speaking to New Era Sport from Johannesburg last night, an upbeat Ali Akan, the team’s mentor was unmoved by the allegations and subsequent findings that could have serious ramifications for the ambitious Roodepoort-based team.
“As far as I’m concerned we are currently in camp preparing for the crucial play-off match against Maritzburg United on Saturday and we are not bothered by petty boardroom politics.
“We are very much aware of external forces, hell-bent on destroying our club because of old scores which they have vowed to settle with club boss Aziz Kara,” fumed Akan.
The controversial Kara has been in hot water with the South African football authorities after the South African Players Union took him to court over thousands of outstanding monies in wages and signing-on fees owed the club’s former players.
Aziz also stood accused of having defaulted on his undertaking to come up with winning prizes for the Baymed Cup, which he sponsored last season.
In a last-ditch effort to safe their survival and in what many football pundits describe as the last kick of a dying horse – the club has now enlisted the services of senior lawyers who are desperately looking for loopholes before the verdict is handed down.