Olago ban KCB asks, why now?

By the punter
Jun 20, 2021
  • KCB RFC have appealed against a 30-week ban of their head coach Curtis Olago. (SNA. File Photo)

Kenya Commercial Bank RFC has petitioned a 30-week ban which the Kenya Rugby Union slapped on their head coach Curtis Olago last week.

A letter to the KRU by John Ojara, the KCB RFC secretary dated June 15, 2021 lists 12 grounds the highlights of which are that: The duration it took (one year) to hear the case; The venue of the incident which does not fall under the jurisdiction of the KRU and Mischief towards Olago.

But the key objection is - The standard of proof which KCB state “was not a balance of probabilities as per Regulation 18 Appendix one Clause 1.3 of the World Rugby Regulations and in the very least, not written submissions could be made as per Regulation 18 Appendix one Clause 2.3 due to non-conformity with Regulation 20.8.2 of the World Rugby Regulations.”  

Details have been emerging about contentious issues related to the manner in which the KRU judicial wing handled the case and subsequent hearing.

Since the ban was announced, Olago has been quiet but KCB filed a petition and on Saturday, a lawyer appeared on behalf of Olago.

SNA has been investigating and stumbled upon contentious issues. The big question has been: Why now considering that the incident happened in Kisumu during the KRU National Sevens Circuit, Dala Sevens on September 3-4, 2016.

Those who were in Kisumu confirmed the said referee was not officiating. There was an altercation witnessed by several. It happened at about 4 a.m. at a public bar. After some pushing and shoving, the two were separated.

Inference to KRU Laws

In summary, the incident was not game-related and KRU only made an inference to the existing KRU Laws. KCB immediately appealed.

The manner in which the information was released to the media could open an avenue for Olago to sue for defamation.

Independent sources view the ban as political with an aim of ensuring Olago does not coach at all. Therefore if the allegations are established his chances of going beyond coaching a successful club will be curtailed by the ban which will remain a permanent record.

It appears Olago’s exploits as a coach has been raising eyebrows with the big question being if the same coaching prowess should not merit a call to handle some of the national teams.

At KCB, some players and officials who spoke to SNA acknowledge there has been brewing ‘discontent’ by Olago’s achievements but were unaware how low individuals at KRU could stoop to single out a ‘minor’ incident like happened in Kisumu which as stated was not rugby-related.

“It’s unfortunate this is what they have come up with,” a KCB officials told SNA. At the appeal, KCB legal team dismissed the ruling on technicalities and requested for a fresh hearing.

They alleged bias. If successful, there should be a new hearing within two weeks.

SNA authoritatively established that three KRU Board Directors vigorously pushed for the ban of Olago by exerting pressure on the Kenya Rugby Referees Society to bring up the case.