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

Football

Tribunal clarifies that March’s FKF grassroot elections are nullified

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 2 – The fresh Football Kenya Federation (FKF) elections will be conducted from bottom up, with the earlier grassroot polls conducted in March nullified, Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) chairman John Ohaga has clarified.

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon during a stakeholders’ meeting to chart the way forward for the new elections, Ohaga said FKF conducted the grassroot pools before a case before the Tribunal was heard and determined.

“FKF would not have held elections before the Tribunal expressed itself on the issues brought to it. Therefore, the Tribunal’s view is very clear; until the Tribunal delivered a decision there could be no election. The Federation itself came before the Tribunal to interpret rules of elections and how could they go ahead with the polls while waiting for the interpretation?” posed Ohaga.

FKF held the grassroot polls on March 14, three days before the Tribunal delivered its ruling on the election rules, where it ticked all the boxes save for the eligibility rule which Ohaga said contravened Article 59 of the Kenyan constitution.

“Elections must commence on the basis of the Tribunal’s recommendations on the top down. Otherwise it would be an absurdity to say the grassroot elections took place while the Federation was seeking clarity on how to hold those elections. Validating those elections and waiting for the national elections would effectively mean there was a narrow construction of the Tribunal’s view,” he added.

Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa addressing a past press briefing

Mwendwa did not attend the Tribunal meeting on Tuesday, having earlier written to the Ohaga-led team stating that he saw no need of attending, while Ohaga last week ruled that he was legally in office until the elections were held.

“That is alright and the tribunal has no difficulty in that. As far as elections are concerned, he (Mwendwa) is merely a potential candidate and he can avail himself or decline from the forum. We will try to the best of our abilities to try and get a feel of what the football stakeholders feel should be the way forward,” Ohaga said.

His absence drew the ire of some of those in attendance, some saying he had disrespected the Tribunal and stakeholders as well.

“His (Mwendwa) absence doesn’t augur well with this process because he is the same person who came to the tribunal,” former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya who has also expressed interests to unseat Mwendwa said.

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Among others who were in attendance include Twaha Mubarak, Elly Mukolwe, Moses Adagala, Sammy Sholei, KEFWA Secretary General Jerry Santo, Kariobangi Sharks chair Robert Maoha, Zoo’s Ken Ochieng, KPL CEO Jaco Oguda and Osendo Omore who came in representing presidential aspirant Herbart Mwachiro.

“We can either sit and wait for FIFA to bring a solution but we can as well sit here and find a solution. The game belongs to us. That is the objective of this exercise,” Ohaga further stated.

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