Fri, 18 Sep 2020

Jomo Sono's Cosmos in survival fight

News24
13 Aug 2020, 04:42 GMT+10

Jomo Cosmos face the threat of losing their place in the PSL structure.Jomo Sono's iconic outfit currently find themselves deep in the GladAfrica Championship relegation zone.Sono, however, has warned his detractors they would be writing Cosmos off at their own peril.

Enforced abdication from the PSL threatens SA soccer's iconic Jomo Sono, as his Jomo Cosmos team flounder deep in the GladAfrica Championship reserve league relegation zone following Tuesday's 2-1 defeat against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM).

Nicknamed "The Black Prince", it signifies a disconcerting fall from grace for someone who is widely renowned as one of South African soccer's greatest players while performing in the colours of Orlando Pirates and owns a club that in the past has rated among the leading teams in the Absa Premiership.

Specifically Cosmos are now firmly placed in second bottom position in the second tier GladAfrica log, with the lowest two teams relegated automatically and, at the same time, terminating a place in the PSL structure entirely.

While bottom-of-the-log Royal Eagles appear doomed for the big drop from South African soccer's professional set-up, Cosmos will need to make up ground on Mbombela United and TS Sporting FC to cling to a place in the PSL second division.

And, ironically, before the start of the current interrupted season blighted by the coronavirus pandemic, Sono not only expressed confidence of gaining promotion to the PSL's premier division, but adding to the list of honours accumulated since the club came into existence in 1982 after purchasing the NPSL franchise of the then-Highlands Park, who, incidentally, have only returned to the major league in the last four years through the promotion route.

NSL League champions in 1987, Telkom Cup winners in 2002, 2003 and 2005 and Nedbank Cup holders in 1990, Cosmos, however, have struggled to maintain an Absa Premiership status during much of the past decade.

Also curiously, in view of the worship Sono enjoyed, particularly in the colours of Orlando Pirates, he failed to arouse the same kind fervour in the roles of coach and club owner - despite acting as the Bafana Bafana coach at the 2002 World Cup Finals.

This was reflected in Cosmos at no time drawing massive crowd support - a fact that resulted on a numerous change of home ground in pursuit of huge attendances they could call their own.

But, if nothing else, Sono is not short of faith in his own ability and he is already warning his detractors they would be writing him off at their own peril.

And even if Cosmos end up relegated from the GladAfrica Championship, Sono could possibly pursue the option of purchasing a Reserve League franchise, if not an expensive one in the Premiership.

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