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Court throws out Sofapaka, Muhoroni petition

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FKF CEO Robert Muthomi (right) exchanges pleasantries with Muhoroni Youth chair Moses Adagala. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – A Kisumu court has thrown out a petition by Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka fans seeking to stop the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) from releasing the 2017 fixtures without them.

The fans had obtained an injunction from the court on February 14 barring the league managers from releasing fixtures as per a directive from the Sports Disputes Tribunal.

The tribunal directed KPL to roll out fixtures for the league involving 16 teams to start by February 25 excluding the two clubs pending a decision over their demotion on club licensing grounds.

In throwing out the petition, the Kisumu court vacated the orders on technicality grounds since it would be against a non-existent party. Two of the three respondents had been misrepresented.

KPL had been listed as Kenya Premier League LTD whereas it should be Kenyan Premier League LTD while the federation was listed as Football Federation of Kenya while it should be referred to as the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

However, the two parties say they will correct their papers and present the case again.

“There was a misrepresentation in the papers we presented but we are working to correct them and present them again. This is a serious issue and the reason we are going back to court is the substance of the petition was not addressed,” the legal representative of the two groups of fans Jimmy Simiyu told Capital Sport.

The court has also asked the two teams to seek an amicable settlement adding the matter could be addressed at the Sports Tribunal.

FKF CEO Robert Muthomi.PHOTO/FILE

Meanwhile, FKF Chief Executive Officer Robert Muthomi says they were happy that the case had been thrown out.

“This is a move in the right direction. Currently there are a lot of busy bodies going about and curtailing the current process of finding a solution by abusing the legal process,” Muthomi said.

With the vacation of the orders, KPL can now go ahead and release fixtures for the new season, as directed by the tribunal.

The case presented by Sofapaka and Muhoroni Youth officials challenging their demotion will go into hearing before the John Ohaga led tribunal on March 2.

Both clubs who were subsequently replaced by KCB and Vihiga United argue that promotion and demotion should be solely on sporting grounds and not club licensing reasons.

On Wednesday, former FKF president Sam Nyamweya also went to court seeking suspension of the enforcement of club licensing rules.

He also wants the court to suspend orders by the Sports Disputes Tribunal instructing both parties to engage in talks over expansion of the KPL to 18 teams.

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