Football Football

KPL returns after court quashes injunction


OGUDA-COURTNAIROBI, March 16- The 2015 Tusker Kenyan Premier League is back following a three-week suspension after the High Court threw out an injunction filed against them running their competition by Football Kenya Federation on Monday.

Civil Court Judge, Lady Justice Roselyne Aburili quashed FKF’s application on Monday bringing an end to High Court orders enforced since February 23 when KPL acknowledged proper service of the injunction granted by Justice Mbogholi Msagha.

“I struck out application filed by FKF for abatement because there was no applicant persona party capable and with the legal capacity to initiate and prosecute the said application.

“The prayer of striking out the entire suit for want of jurisdiction of the court to hear the dispute on account of FIFA and FKF statutes is declined and the suit is sustained,” Aburili read in part of her ruling.

The decision at Room 28 of the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi sparked celebrations outside the courthouse where majority of over 100 fans who have keenly followed proceedings hoisted Kenyan Premier League CEO, Jack Oguda, shoulder high chanting his name.

“This is kind of ruling that protects sports and you can see the fans are ready to watch KPL. We appreciate the Judge has made a good ruling so we will start the league as soon as possible and settling the issue out of court is something we can explore as the Judge said,” Oguda, who was booed by a few rival supporters, enthused.

In striking out the injunction, Justice Aburili stayed the civil case filed by the federation against the league management body.

And later Monday, FKF said they were studying the verdict with a view of deciding their next move in the ongoing supremacy battle over composition and running of the country’s top flight.

“Football Kenya Federation hereby, following today’s ruling by Lady Justice Roselyn Aburili, wishes to confirm that we have received the direction taken by the Court on the matter between FKF and Kenyan Premier League Limited.

“Arising from the Ruling, the Federation is satisfied that the case is still on course and the substance thereon was not dismissed by the Court. We can confirm that our Lawyers are and are studying the ruling with a view to preparing grounds for the next course of action,” a statement signed FKF Media read in its entirety.

Justice Aburili struck out FKF’s name from the case because a society cannot sue by its name in a civil court, allowing federation bosses to continue with litigation by using their own names.

“It will be denial of justice if the court struck out this suit on account that the plaintiffs must go to FIFA or Sports Tribunal contrary to the provision of Article 48 of the constitution which enact that the State shall ensure justice to all persons.

“On that note I did not go to the aspect whether KPL is affiliated or recognised by FIFA since the record is clear it’s a domestic private company whose share holders are recognized by FIFA. They pay affiliation fee to FKF which shows that they are a member of federation contrary to FKF’s argument that they seized to be their members,” the Judge ruled in illustrating the High Court’s jurisdiction to hear and decide on the dispute that has seen FKF and KPL thus far fail to reach an amicable resolution outside the corridors of justice since last November.

In granting FKF the right to appeal, once again Justice Aburili urged both parties to be at liberty to settle the matter out of court as the football crisis in the country still persists despite Monday’s decision.

It means whilst the court, at the direction of whether the parties can come to agreement to defuse their standoff, will continue hearing the case filed by FKF against KPL as two parallel Premier Leagues continue running.

Mixed reaction from fans followed the eagerly anticipated ruling with majority expressing delight and satisfaction with the verdict.

“We wanted KPL to continue nothing more, we love football. I’m happy with the judge’s ruling he has saved the players who depends on the game for a living and for those who were wasting time in court they should know we have won the battle. We want the derby to be organized as soon as possible,” KPL champions Gor Mahia  most recognised supporter, Jared Obonyo, famously known as Jaro Soldier, told Capital Sport.

“I’m so happy with today’s ruling because KPL has been there for us and we will continue working together with them to ensure our game rise high. We want to play in a competitive league; we cannot play with small teams who have been incorporated in the league,” AFC Leopards fan, Lester Lukovo, declared.

“I’m so happy KPL will resume, we had missed going to the stadium and watch the game, I can’t wait to cheer my team,” another notable Gor fan, Pastor Sudi, stated.

“They have won not on merit but on technicality, the judge emphasized we can come back and make a fresh application and we are ready to do so,” one FKF supporter muttered.

KPL did not waste time in announcing the resumption of their televised fixtures with titleholders Gor Mahia clashing with Bandari Thursday to get their delayed programme off again.