KPL takes on FKF over derby: Ingwe players had reported to Harambee Stars camp

By Gilbert Wandera: Wednesday, May 23rd 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Boniface Omondi (right) of Gor Mahia battles for the ball with Mike Kibwage of AFC Leopards during their Mashemeji Derby Sportpesa match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on May 1,2018.Photo:Kipsang Joseph/Standard

League body files case at Sports Tribunal as FA directs referees not to officiate fixture.

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) is doing everything to ensure Saturday’s ‘Mashemeji’ derby is played.

Yesterday, KPL took the matter to the Sports Tribunal hoping to compel Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to have the match with eternal rivals Gor Mahia played.

According to John Ohaga, who chairs the tribunal, the matter will be heard today afternoon.

“The KPL have filed a case on the matter and we have asked them to serve FKF and directed that both parties be heard today at 3pm,” he said.

This comes even as FKF wrote a letter to all referees directing them not to officiate the fixture.

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“This letter serves to inform you that no match official should officiate the said match without direct written consent from the undersigned,” the letter authored by Robert Muthomi the FKF General Secretary Genral/CEO reads.

This is the second time KPL is taking FKF to the tribunal.

The first time was last year when FKF announced the expansion of the top tier league from 16 to 18 teams.

The tribunal ruled in favour of FKF pointing out that as the governing authority they had a right to expand the top tier.

The tribunal also ordered FKF to pay for the cost of the two extra teams.

Earlier, AFC Leopards players had reported to the national team Harambee Stars camp ahead of two friendly matches against Swaziland and Equitorial Guinea.

This is despite the club threatening to withdraw their players in protest to a decision by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to call off the derby.

On Monday, AFC Leopards Secretary General Oscar Igaida, who had hours after the federation announced that the derby had been cancelled, said the team will not release its players to Harambee Stars.

However, all AFC Leopards players joined the national team camp on Monday night before training started, according to FKF Communications Manager Barry Otieno.

AFC Leopards players called up in the team are Michael Kibwage, Duncan Otieno, Whyvonne Isuza, Marvin Omondi, Dennis Sikhayi and Jafari Owiti.

Igaida declined to comment on the apparent change of heart when we reached for a comment.