Football Football

Sports Tribunal directs league to start with 16 teams

Sports Disputes Tribunal chairman John Ohaga. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The Sports Disputes Tribunal has directed that the 2017 Kenyan Premier League season should commence in the next two weeks without the four teams in contention as KPL and Football Kenya Federation work towards finding a common ground.

Tribunal chairman John Ohaga after meeting the KPL legal representative Geoffrey Obura and FKF representatives ordered KPL to draft the fixtures for the league to start by latest February 25, pending the determination of the case of the four teams.

“There is no need for the league to be put on hold because of four teams and so we have directed that before this matter is heard and determined, the fixtures should be drafted and the league starts. When a common ground is found for the four, then they will join in and play catch up,” Ohaga told Capital Sport.

Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth were demoted due to club licensing reasons by the federation and replaced by Vihiga United and KCB, something that the league managers are against.

It is this contention that has brought about the suspension of the start of the new season with both sides playing hard ball. FKF insist that only licensed clubs will be allowed to play in the top tier while KPL have stood their ground saying promotion and demotion should only be done on sporting grounds.

“We will have a sitting next Tuesday where we hope to iron out the issue once and for all,” Ohaga added.

The fixtures expected to be released will include the 12 teams remaining from last season’s league as well as Nzoia United, Kariobangi Sharks, Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt FC.

Meanwhile, FKF president Nick Mwendwa has called for a meeting with KPL chairmen on Saturday morning as he continues his efforts to have the matter resolved.