NAIROBI, Kenya, March 11 – Once again, all eyes and eyes of Kenyan football enthusiasts will be trained on civil judge, Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili on Friday, as an expectant nation awaits to see which direction its football crisis will take during the hearing of a suit filed by the federation against their league management rivals.
Both Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) – the primary parties in the case that will be heard in Room 208 of Nairobi’s Milimani High Court starting 9am local time- have already declared minor ‘victories’ in the period since March 3 when Justice Aburili adjourned the hearing with the country praying for biblical Solomonic wisdom to guide the seasoned judge.
On Monday, her orders to enjoin former FKF vice-president, Sammy Shollei and suspended Nairobi delegate, Dan Shikanda to the suit as interested parties were seen as a plus for KPL which is challenging the legality of hearing the dispute in a local court as opposed to arbitration as spelt in world governing body Fifa and the federation’s own statutes.
Then on Thursday, it was FKF’s turn to declare ‘victory’ when federation boss, Sam Nyamweya dispatched a letter apparently from Fifa where they are denying allegations that gained momentum on Tuesday they had been ordered to withdraw the court case and let KPL run t a 16-team competition as opposed to the parallel 18-side premier league they started after severing ties with the latter on January 28.
“We have not withdrawn the case since we have not yet resolved the matter outside the court. Consultations are ongoing.
“I’m open and prepared for dialogue and determined to get a solution that will be a win-win for both parties. As long as we talk to each other truthfully and seriously, serious consultations will end this impasse,” Nyamweya told Capital Sport on Tuesday when reports Fifa had written to them to cede ground to KPL surfaced.
KPL chairman Ambrose Rachier, who is among respondents to contempt of court proceedings brought by FKF after they went on to run the first round of the 2015 Premier League despite a court injunction told this website the case could swing either way.
“We haven’t met with FKF to discuss the way forward as reports suggest so the stalemate will be resolved by the court where I will know if I will be jailed or acquitted,” Rachier, a prominent lawyer explained.
-Injunction in force-
With the injunction against KPL, unless lifted Friday spilling into a third weekend, the Governing Council on Wednesday announced the re-launch of the Transparency Cup that is scheduled to kick-off Saturday to keep their 14 member clubs in addition to relegated Nairobi City Stars and Nakuru All Stars busy.
However, in a swift rejoinder, FKF were quick to cancel the tournament citing they were not consulted as administrators of football opening another potential battlefront in the bare knuckled supremacy wars that has almost paralysed domestic club football.
Once again, a horde of football fans are expected to flock Milimani High Court to know the outcome that has seen KPL round two and three fixtures halted as parallel FKF league is on.
The judge who demanded written applications from both parties on Monday will hear and rule on four matters, contempt of court proceedings against KPL, injunction orders sought by FKF, KPL’s responding affidavit and submissions from Shollei and Shikanda.
Others who were sued in the contempt of court are Tusker FC chairman James Musyoki, Ulinzi Stars Col. J.S Mwinyikai, Mathare United’s Bob Munro, AFC Leopards’ Allan Kasavuli and Sofapaka’s Elly Kalekwa who stand to commuted to six month civil jail if found guilty.
Over to you, Honorable Lady Justice Aburili!