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Sports Disputes Tribunal chair John Ohaga during a previous hearing. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Football

Sports Tribunal suspends FKF decision to end KPL season

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The soap opera that is Kenyan football has taken a new twist after the decision to cancel the domestic top flight was suspended by a court on Tuesday.

This is after Chemelil Sugar and the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) successfully obtained stay orders against Football Kenya Federation boss, Nick Mwendwa and Secretary General, Barry Otieno at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) until the matter is heard and determined.

“The Sports Disputes Tribunal issue STAY ORDERS against the 1st and 2nd Respondents for making the unlawful and un-procedural decision of cancelling the KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE SEASON 2019/2020 that was individually pronounced and declared by the 1st Respondent and Communicated By the 2nd Respondent through their letters dated 30th April, 2020 and 5th May, 2020 without powers to do so, pending interparties hearing and determination of this petition,” directives from Ohaga on Tuesday read.

KPL CEO Jack Oguda has said they are pleased with the decision.

“I think it is a good decision by the Tribunal and this will give us a chance to show that we can actually end the season,” Oguda told Capital Sports.

Chemelil, as the first petitioner and KPL as the second went to the tribunal seeking orders to overturn the decision by the Federation to cancel the season.

A decision that came as a surprise to many by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Mwendwa two weeks ago, ended all seven tiers of football due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Federation saying there was no feasible time to complete the season with the lockdowns and curfew set up by the government.

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa and Secretary General Barry Otieno during a past hearing at the Sports Tribunal. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

But KPL clubs were up in arms over the decision saying it was done unilaterally and without consultation and Chemelil co-owner Moses Adagala said he would head to the tribunal to challenge the decision.

The sugar millers who were second from bottom in the mid-season standings that was used to determine the final league table would have been relegated. There were nine matches remaining in the season.

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KPL have further argued that FKF have no legal mandate to interfere with the running of the league as per an earlier decision by the Tribunal.

Chemelil and KPL also sought orders from the Tribunal that the FKF Secretariat seeks the position/status of the Kenyan Premier League Season 2019/ 2020 from the league managers before making any pronouncement with respect to the KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2019/2020 league season.

The petition is set to be served to all the KPL clubs as well as the Federation within the next three days while anyone else wishing to join the petition are required to do so within the next seven days.

The case shall be mentioned for further directions on May 26.

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