NAIROBI, Kenya, February 20 – Football Kenya Federation (FKF) have gone against world body Fifa express statutes by rushing to court to obtain an injunction stopping the start of rival Kenyan Premier League on Saturday as the fallout between the two local bodies intensified Friday.
Milimani High Court judge Justice Mbogholi Msagha barred KPL from hosting, commencing, running, managing or in any way conducting a parallel league, pending the March 3 hearing of a case filed by FKF.
The judge, who certified the case as urgent, directed FKF to serve defendants who included KPL, Kenya Football Referees Association and Sports Kenya.
“Upon reading the application dated February 20, and presented to court the same day by Counsel for the plaintiff under order 40 Rule 1 and 2 of the Civil procedure Rules and section 3A of the Civil procedure act and upon reading the supporting affidavit of Sam Nyamweya, it’s here by ordered that the application be certified as urgent.
“The Defendants are hereby restrained by way of injunction from hosting, running, managing or in any way conducting a parallel Premier League in Kenya in the name of Kenyan Premier League or in another name for 14 days from today February 20,” the injunction ordered.
But the latest move to turn to courts is in direct violation of their own law that states “FKF, its Members… will not take any dispute to Ordinary Courts unless specifically provided for in these Statutes and FIFA regulations. Any disagreement shall be submitted to the jurisdiction of FIFA, CAF or FKF.”
And after dismissing recommendations by a Fifa appointed expert on the composition of the league after the 16-team format favoured by the KPL was endorsed, FKF and its president, Sam Nyamweya have further contravened Statute 64 of the Fifa laws that deals with arbitration of football disputes as published below in its entirety.
“The Associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the Association or disputes affecting Leagues, members of Leagues, clubs, members of clubs, Players, Officials and other Association Officials to ordinary courts of law, unless the FIFA regulations or binding legal provisions specifically provide for or stipulate recourse to ordinary courts of law.
“Instead of recourse to ordinary courts of law, provision shall be made for arbitration. Such disputes shall be taken to an independent and duly constituted arbitration tribunal recognised under the rules of the Association or Confederation or to CAS.
“The Associations shall also ensure that this stipulation is implemented in the Association, if necessary by imposing a binding obligation on its members. The Associations shall impose sanctions on any party that fails to respect this obligation and ensure that any appeal against such sanctions shall likewise be strictly submitted to arbitration, and not to ordinary courts of law.”
KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Capital Sport they have not been served with the injunction and will make decision once they receive the order.
“We have not received any injunction but I will discuss the matter with my chairman, Ambrose Rachier who is a lawyer before making decisive decision but if we are not served with the Court Order then we will go on with our league as planned,” Oguda underscored.
After talks between the two collapsed on Wednesday when KPL walked out of FKF’s meeting, the former vowed to go on with the league this weekend with seven matches on card.
Earlier, FKF said they will not involve players in their fight with KPL after there were fears that the under-23 national team would be heavily affected by the virtue of the squad featuring majority of KPL players.
The squad of 31 that will represent the country at the next month’s All Africa Games qualifies against Egypt and in the Africa championships qualifiers against Botswana in April broke camp Thursday to allow the players join their teams for the 2015 premier league.
“In our last meeting we agreed that the U-23 team that is in camping at Kasarani Stadium will not be interfered with. We don’t want our players to be involved in the wrangles.
“When on national duty, they are not representing KPL or FKF; they will be carrying the Kenyan flag so we don’t expect any interference with the team,” FKF national Leagues and Competitions chairperson, Doris Petra told Capital Sport on Friday.
FKF are yet to settle the allowances of the team that reported to camp January 19 under the tutelage of Harambee Stars head coach Bobby Williamson.
“We have not received even a single cent since we reported camp and there is no communication so we are just waiting,” one of the players who sought anonymity revealed to us.
The team is expected to report camp Monday ahead of their first assignment against Egypt on March 1 in an All Africa Games qualifiers first-leg in Cairo.
– FKF PL continues-
Elsewhere, the revamped FKF/PL will continue on Wednesday with 14 Super League sides that were promoted to replace the dissenting KPL teams due to sign a binding Memorandum of Understanding with the federation on Monday to feature in their competition.
“We have already played one fixture so we will go on with the league midweek after the clubs receive their Sh1m monthly grant,” Petra charged with previous efforts for the federation to avail proof of receiving the money from MP&S Agency that was contracted to sell broadcast rights of the FKF Premier League.
The invited clubs were Zoo Kericho, Agro Chemicals, West Sugar FC, Bidco United FC, Nzoia FC, Modern Coast FC, Kariobangi Sharks FC, Ligi Ndogo FC, Nairobi Stima FC, Oserian FC, Finlays FC, St Joseph FC, Busia United FC and GFE 105 FC.
The KPL sides have already received grants worth Sh1.5m for the first quarter of the season from their broadcast partners, SuperSport who have confirmed live beaming of the start of the league will commence as planned.