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Tribunal calls for May 5 talks over FKF polls

Sports Dispute Tribunal Chairman John Ohaga taking notes. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 24 – The Sports Disputes Tribunal has invited all parties for a video conference on May 5 to discuss the way forward on the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections after world football governing body FIFA declined to form a normalization committee.

While inviting the parties for talks, Ohaga has said he sticks to his initial ruling to cancel the national elections despite FIFA’s objections.

In his ruling in March while cancelling the intended presidential and National Executive Committee (NEC) elections, Ohaga said that the current NEC was no longer legally in office after their term expired and asked FIFA to form a normalization committee to run the game in the country.

However, FIFA declined the request and has instead asked for talks between all parties with the government included over the next course of action.

While issuing a directive on Friday afternoon, Ohaga acknowledged the stance by FIFA.

“The Tribunal notes that FIFA has declined to form a Normalization Committee as requested at Order No. IX of the Tribunal’s decision of 17th March, 2020. The Tribunal accordingly invites representations from the parties as to the next course of action in view of the urgent need for the FKF to hold elections once the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us,” Ohaga in his directives stated.

The Tribunal boss cancelled the elections due to contention over the eligibility criteria for the post of president which he said was locking out many interested candidates from vying.

He ruled that the criteria was against the Kenyan constitution.

While responding to the new directions from the Tribunal, FKF boss Nick Mwendwa said; “We will look at the requirements from the Tribunal and respond accordingly. We got a communication from FIFA who said they will initiate the talks on the way forward after the current status with the coronavirus is contained and we are still keen on that.”

Meanwhile, Ohaga has asked some of the interested parties who had argued on Tuesday that the current office was vandalizing office equipment to make their formal submissions as well as those of the Contempt of Court allegations on the NEC.

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“Such application, including brief written submissions, shall be filed and served within the next five (5) days from the date of issuance of these directions. The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) shall file and serve its response, including brief written submissions, within five (5) days from the date of service upon it of the intended application,” said Ohaga, adding that all applications shall be filed electronically.

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