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MBABANE – Big setback.

This is the story of Green Mamba’ midfielder Mxolisi ‘Kudus’ Mkhonto, who now has his  dream of playing in the lucrative DStv Premiership hanging by a thread. This comes after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) threw  out Royal AM’s application to have their FIFA sanction overturned. The workaholic box-to-box midfielder left the country via Lavumisa Border Gate last month for the Dstv Premiership side. The Inyoka Eluhlazane midfielder played and lost to AmaZulu 0-2 at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in a preseason tournament dubbed the Premier’s Cup. He played the full 90 minutes as the Royal AM technical were impressed with his solid performance.

A source within the player’s camp later revealed that the MaMkhize-owned side was very much impressed with his performance. “Mkhonto was instrumental in the anchor-man position which is another role he played. That he played the whole 90 tells you how good he was despite the defeat,” the source revealed. The publication broke the news of the transfer ban last month after the Premier Soccer League club failed to pay an amount of E12 million owed to former striker Samir Nurkovic, whose contract they terminated prematurely. But the Durban side then submitted an appeal to CAS and surprisingly claimed the order to prohibit them from registering players who had been lifted, though opposing attorney Davor Lazic argued the contrary. The Durban-based outfit, owned by flamboyant businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize, filed an appeal for ‘provisional measures’ on  July 10 and maintained they wanted to provide their version of events regarding the Nurkovic matter.

Royal AM, through their lawyer Leruma Thobejane, insisted the former Kaizer Chiefs forward only ever reported for duty once since putting pen to paper and featured in the Macufe Cup in September last year. Lazic appears to have proved this to be incorrect given the FIFA award handed down as far back as May this year. Nurkovic is moving on with his career and has been trying to impress Raja Casablanca in north Africa, hoping to sign for the Moroccan giants, but his representatives are also eager to make sure he gets paid by Royal AM. The publication can exclusively reveal that CAS has thrown out their appeal and the FIFA ban on transfers stands until Nurkovic is paid in full. With nine days before the DStv Premiership season gets underway, Thwihli Thwahla are now in danger of going into the new campaign without being able to recruit fresh faces for coach John Maduka, whom among other players is the reigning MTN Premier League player of the season, who was instrumental in helping his side win the league title. Meanwhile Mxolisi ‘Kudus’ Mkhonto could not be drawn for comment after his cellphone rung unanswered when called yesterday evening.