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Decision to declare Gor KPL champions now a legal dispute

FOOTBALL By Everlyne Judith Kwamboka | May 27th 2020
Gor Mahia team celebrates after winning their Kenya Premier League title at Kenyatta Stadium Machakos on Saturday 25/05/19[Boniface Okendo, Standard]

FKF now objects to KPL case

Sports Tribunal sets June 12 to hear FKF’s objection to Chemelil and KPL’s suit against their league decision.

Football Kenya Federation has filed a preliminary objection at the Sports Disputes Tribunal against a case filed by Chemelil Sugar and the Kenyan Premier League contesting its decision to end the season and declare Gor Mahia Kenyan champions.

In yesterday’s brief hearing via video conferencing, SDT chair John Ohaga directed the petitioners to file their replying affidavit to the objection by Friday.

FKF will then will file their written submissions by June 5. The petitioners will then reply the FKF by June 10 ahead of the hearing of the preliminary objection June 12.

The Tribunal has in the meantime extended the exparte order setting aside FKF’s decision to end the seasond declare Gor champions.

Nick Mwendwa and FKF wants KPL and Chemelil Sugar suit be dismissed on the grounds that the dispute ought to have been dealt with internally instead of them seeking legal redress.

Through Litoro and Omwebu Advocates Company, Mwendwa and FKF’s CEO Barry Otieno said the agreement prohibits parties from referring any dispute under the deal to a court of law or any other jurisdiction not recognised by the international body Fifa.

 “This petition contravenes the express provision of clause 10.1 of the agreement between FKF and KPL dated September 24, 2015 which stipulates that any dispute under the agreement shall, as a matter of course, be subjected to bona fide negotiations at the first instance,” reads part of the documents filed at the tribunal.

FKF also wants the case dismissed on the grounds that KPL did not seek the governing council’s resolution to appoint CMO law firm to represent it in the case.

In the application, KPL and Chemelil Sugar Football Club claimed FKF had no veto powers to cancel the league or declare Gor Mahia the champions since FKF’s National Executive Council and Mwendwa’s term of office ended on February 10.

KPL that suspended the league due to the Covid-19 pandemic wants the tribunal to quash FKF’s decision and to stop Mwendwa from frustrating its efforts and exclusive powers to manage the league.

The tribunal had on January 10, 2017 issued a permanent injunction restraining FKF from interfering with KPL’s rights to manage the league during the currency of the 2015 agreement.

The petitioners have also invited the tribunal to determine if the 2015 FKF-KPL signed agreement is still valid and whether it has any legal effect upon the company. In the case, Chemelil claimed the decision to declare Gor Mahia the champions has had an adverse effect by relegating it to the Betika National Super League.

Mwendwa’s decision that Kisumu All Stars FC to play Vihiga United FC in the KPL/National Super League play-off match after the Covid 19 pandemic was also said to be illegal and unfair to all the teams in KPL.

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