NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5- Once again, the new Kenyan Premier League season is set for a curtain raiser at the Sports Disputes Tribunal after Thika United on Tuesday evening obtained an injunction temporarily halting their promotion/relegation play-off against Ushuru FC.
The tie had been set for this Sunday but it will now be shelved pending the hearing and determination of Thika’s application with the hearing set for Monday at the John Ohaga led panel’s offices in UpperHill.
Thika have all along been objected to the play-off, insisting they knew all along that only two teams which finish in the bottom two slots will be relegated.
Last week however, Thika head coach Nicholas Muyoti told Capital Sport they would be getting back to training after the management agreed to the play-off, following the KPL’s Governing Council advice that they should honor the match.
It is slowly turning out to be a repeat of the just concluded season when the start of the league season was delayed for close to a month over KPL and FKF’s fight over the expansion of the league to 18 teams with FKF ultimately having their way.
The wrangles began all the way back in October when KPL moved to the tribunal stopping the FKF AGM from discussing issues with expanding the league.
FKF have insisted that the play-off should continue, arguing that they wrote a letter – which was never replied to – to KPL informing them of the relegation/promotion play-off.
“We are now used to being taken to courts, but as always we have shown that we follow the rule of law. We have letters that we wrote to KPL and they never replied. We wrote to them in March, before the season started,” FKF boss Nick Mwendwa said in a previous interview.
A senior source at KPL intimated to Capital Sport that the letter might be a turning point in the case and Thika United might be chasing wind.
In its ruling in March, the tribunal said that the Federation was the custodian of local football and were on the right to make rules as such governing the leagues while KPL would only be acting as an agent of running the top tier.