Bloemfontein Celtic have lost their Premier Soccer League (PSL) arbitration hearing against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Phunya Sele Sele protested the ineligibility of Sundowns defender Tebogo Langerman to take part in the Nedbank Cup final earlier this month.
Langerman picked up five yellow cards prior to the final and the experienced player was suspended for the match which was played at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The match ended in a 1-0 win for Sundowns with Langerman being an unused substitute.
The case was referred to urgent arbitration and they have now lost their hearing on a technicality for their late submission of their "protest."
This was confirmed by Celtic chief executive officer Khumbulani Konco when speaking on Metro FM's Marawa Sport Worldwide on Friday evening.
"The arbitration sat and the arbitrator said we should have lodged a complaint 30 minutes before the game. We lost the case," Konco said.
"I'm disappointed with the PSL Prosecutor Nande Becker. When it comes to other teams he becomes a Lion but when it comes to Sundowns he becomes a cat."
Sundowns are said to have admitted guilt for their part in including a suspended player in their team sheet.
Becker oversaw a case involving Sundowns playmaker Gaston Sirino during the recent 2019/20 season.
Sirino only received a two-match ban for hitting SuperSport United duo Dean Furman and Clayton Daniels back during an MTN8 match in September 2019.
The Uruguayan player was also fined R75 000, of which R25 000 was suspended for 24 months.
Sirino netted the only goal of the match as Sundowns defeated Celtic to clinch fifth Nedbank Cup a few weeks ago.
The win saw Sundowns complete a treble having also clinched the PSL title and Telkom Knockout Cup in a single season.
While Celtic qualified for next season's Caf Confederation Cup by virtue of being the Nedbank Cup runners-up.
Sundowns will represent the country in the Caf Champions League after lifting their third PSL title.