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Football dispute goes back to court

The squabbles between officials of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and the Kenyan Premier League limited (KPL) will yet again be heard before the Courts of Law on Thursday morning, amid queries on whether this institution is best placed to handle the matter.

FKF moved to the High Court a fortnight ago, from where it obtained orders barring KPL from among other things hosting, running, managing or in any way conducting a parallel Premier League in Kenya in the name of Kenyan Premier League.

This development came in the wake of a four month old power struggle between the two bodies with the main contention being the naming, structure and management of the top flight league.

This move was however in violation of Statute 64 of the Fifa laws which state:

“The (member) Associations shall insert a clause in their statutes or regulations, stipulating that it is prohibited to take disputes in the Association or disputes affecting Leagues, members of Leagues, clubs, members of clubs, Players, Officials and other Association Officials to ordinary courts of law.”

Interestingly, this case has attracted the attention of two football administrators; Dan Shikanda and Sammy Sholei who have asked to be enjoined in the suit. The duo was each suspended for six years by FKF for purportedly taking football matters to court.

FIFA STATUES

Sholei denies this charge, but adds he now wishes to find out why the Fifa Statues are applied ‘discriminately’.

“I never went to court. All the purported documents were forged. But since that was supposed to be the main offense that led to my suspension, I now wish to be told why the same federation is in court,” the former FKF Vice Chairman said.

Additionally, FKF President Sam Nyamweya wrote to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga last September and emphasized the importance of keeping football matters off the ordinary courts.

“Over the last two decades, Kenyan courts have too often been misused by litigants on football matters who ignored the remedies available through KPL, FKF, Fifa and other international judicial bodies,” the letter read in part.

The ‘ignored’ conflict resolution bodies stated by Nyamweya in the letter to Mutunga include the KPL Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee, FKF Disciplinary Committee, FKF Appeals Committee, new Kenyan Sports Tribunal, Fifa Disputes Resolution Chamber and International Court of Arbitration for Sport.