Thika United get injunction stopping play-off

By alex wafula
Dec 06, 2017
  • Thika United have objected to a playoff against Ushuru. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Francis Baraza who won the monthly award says he is ready to take over as head coach of Tusker FC. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Thika United on Tuesday evening successfully got an injunction from the Sports Disputes Tribunal stopping the relegation/promotion play off between them and Ushuru FC.

The Football Kenya Federation had directed the 16th placed team from the Kenyan Premier League to engage in a play-off with the third placed team from the National Super League on top of the automatic relegation for the bottom two KPL teams and promotion for top two NSL teams.

However, Thika United were to the play off, saying they were aware that only two teams will be relegated at the end of the season and new development was unknown to them.

Thika United’s arguments are based on the 2015 agreement between KPL and FKF.

The SDT chaired by arbitrator John Ohaga issued a reprieve to Thika, temporarily halting the play-off till the matter is heard and determined. The hearing has been set for Monday December 11.

The two-legged play off was initially set for December 11 and 13. Last week, the KPL Governing Council meeting decided to throw the ball into Thika United’s court, saying they were at liberty to honor or fail to honor the play off.

“The Governing Council advised Thika to play and now it was upon them to make the decision. It was a unanimous decision. We did not direct them on what to do,” Daniel Aduda, the outgoing KPL chairman said.

Thika United head coach Nicholas Muyoti had last week said that their bosses had told them of the decision and they were already getting back to training to prepare for the play off.

But the recent development now throws the plans out of the window. It has now seemingly become an annual fete for KPL and FKF wars to head to the courts.

This year, the start of the season was delayed as the two parties battled at the tribunal over the expansion of the top tier.

The impasse stretched from October 2016 to March this year. However, a senior source at KPL has intimated that FKF might have their way as they wrote a letter to KPL before the season started in March informing them of their desire for a play-off. The letter was never replied to.

FKF stuck to the agreement that relegation and promotion criteria should be agreed before the season. KPL’s failure to reply might be the undoing in this case,” the source said.

Baraza wins monthly award

Meanwhile, Francis Baraza, the Tusker FC caretaker coach was on Tuesday awarded with the KPL October coach of the month gong.

Baraza took charge of the team on interim basis after the suspension of George Nsimbe leading the brewers to three straight wins.

Nsimbe has since been sacked by the club after failing to achieve results, finishing sixth and bowing out of the GOtv Shield in the quarters, losing to Vihiga United.

Baraza, after earning his award now says he is ready to take up the head coach’s role if given a chance.

“I have done it with other clubs and succeeded so I think I am ready to handle it if the management decides to appoint me. As at this moment, we are continuing with the job of recruiting new players waiting on the management’s decision,” Baraza who won the league with Sony Sugar in 2006 said.

However, it is not certain that Baraza will get the job. A source at Ruaraka intimates the management thinks Baraza does not have enough experience and ability to handle the high pressure team.

“We have received so many applications for the job and we will be looking at them so as to make a decision soon enough. We want the new coach to come early so that he can build his own team,” Charles Obiny, the Tusker FC CEO said.

The team has already began its rebuilding process with several players released. Moses Ndawula, Victor Ndinya, Clifford Alwanga, 2014 KPL player of the year Anthony Ndolo, George Mandela, Noah Wafula, Martin Kiiza, Danson Kago and Luis Tera Misiko have all been shown the door.

It is also not certain whether Allan Wanga, James Situma, Humphrey Mieno and Cersidy Okeyo whose contracts end in December will be renewed.

Nkata and Bandari part ways

Also, former Tusker FC coach Paul Nkata has also been shown the door at Bandari, just one season after joining with a rich CV from Nairobi. Nkata has been fired by the alemen after poor performance which saw them finish the season 10th.

Elsewhere, Robert Matano, the AFC Leopards coach continues to rebuild the team ahead of the new season.

With Ian Otieno, Andrew Tololwa, Musa Mudde, Allan Katterega and Alex Kitenge all released, the tactician has been on a shopping spree to get new talent. The Ugandan duo of Baker Lukoye and Ramadhan Kibiringo have both been signed.

Also set to rejoin the team is forward Kepha Aswani who was released from the club last year June on disciplinary grounds.

The club has also brought on board Ezekiel Owade from Nakumatt, Ezekiel Odera from Nairobi City Stars as well as Brian Marita, Robert Achema and Ezekiel Otuoma from Western Stima.

“There are several other players we are looking at, especially in midfield and I can assure that we will have a very strong team next season,” Dan Mule, the AFC Leopards chairman said.

The club is also set to loan out youngsters Marcelus Ingotsi, Harun Nyakha, Lewis Wanami and Alfred Wekesa.