Sports Tribunal summons KPL bosses over league fixtures

By alex wafula
Mar 03, 2021
  • Sports Disputes Tribunal panel chaired by John Ohaga (Centre) has summoned Jack Oguda, the KPL CEO over the fixtures released. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • KPL said they had not released the fixture as they were yet to be served with vacating orders from the Kisumu court. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Jack Oguda, the Kenyan Premier League Chief Executive Officer will appear before the Sports Disputes Tribunal on Monday morning to show cause why the league fixture is yet to be released.

On February 10, the tribunal gave orders that the league managers release fixtures for the new season without two teams yet to be determined.

A Kisumu court later gave orders suspending the start of the league after a petition by Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka fans is determined. The two clubs were relegated by the Football Kenya Federation on club licensing grounds.

But, the same orders were vacated last week on technicalities. KPL however still failed to release the fixtures, but after the tribunal’s orders on Thursday evening, they have now said they will release them on Friday.

The matter was brought to the tribunal’s attention on Thursday evening when a hearing of the club licensing case pitting Sofapaka and Muhoroni came for hearing.

FKF lawyer Patricia Mitei raised the issue on behalf of her clients. “The tribunal is also concerned that the fixture is yet to be released and yet we gave an order on the same. We would like KPL to come in and explain to us why the same has not been effected,” Tribunal chair John Ohaga said.

Previously, Oguda had said they had not released the fixture as they were yet to be served with vacating orders from the Kisumu court. But, Mitei, offered a contrary statement.

“My clients wrote them a letter and attached the orders from Kisumu and it is surprising that up to this moment we have not seen the fixtures,” Mitei affirmed.

National Super League fixtures released

Meanwhile, the federation has released fixtures for the National Super League which will be starting this weekend. The fixture has two empty slots reserved awaiting the decision of the tribunal on the relegation of Sofapaka and Muhoroni.

The case went into full hearing on Thursday well into late hours of the night as the tribunal sought to expedite the process for the league to continue.

Sofapaka through their legal representative Mary Bonyo made their submissions. FKF presented club licensing chairman Edwin Wamukoya as a witness.

Bonyo, on behalf of Sofapaka castigated the club licensing process saying it was unfair. She also added that this being the first time the process was being introduced, the relegation sanction was too harsh.

Wamukoya insisted that Baoto ba Mungu were not licensed after failing on the financial criteria. They attained only 38.5 percent, way below the 50 percent pass mark for a provisional license.

He said the club failed to prove it will be financially able to run the club especially noting that over 80 percent of their funding came from an individual.

Wamukoya also said the club failed to give an assurances that the club's sponsor (Elly Kalekwa) would avail cash to the club because the accounts he availed were of a foreign bank in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

Licensing committee made assumptions

In defense of her clients, Bonyo said the licensing committee made assumptions and did not go out of their way to prove that the finances would not be availed.

On the issue of players not being paid, Sofapaka provided a document signed by all players showing they had been paid.

The licensing committee however said they received a complaint from the players' union and followed up with individual calls to players who said they were owed by the club.

Wamukoya will be further cross examined on Wednesday next week.

Meanwhile, fans of both clubs who had taken the case to Kisumu have been enjoined into the case at the tribunal as interested parties. Their lawyer Jimmy Simiyu will also have an opportunity to cross examine Wamukoya on Wednesday.