Eyes on SDT boss Ohaga as he makes precedent ruling

Friday, April 24th, 2020 00:00 |
SDT chairman John Ohaga.

In a few hours, the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) will be pronouncing itself on a sensitive matter that would very well determine the future of Kenya football.

The contest which has dragged FIFA into the fore has largely got to do with matters of electoral procedure and criteria of registration in a matter that has put Football Kenya Federation (FKF) in the heat. 

FKF has been accused of a flurry of cases from multiple petitioners over what they claimed was a scheme to frustrate them from partaking from elections that were subsequently cancelled last month in what the SDT described as inadequacies of procedure.

The SDT is now in a battle to flex muscle and  preserve integrity of office in the midst of a standoff.

Today, all eyes and ears will be on SDT chairman John Ohaga (pictured) as he is expected to deliver an electronic ruling to the numerous parties in presented petitions.

He will be taking into consideration among many submissions from interested parties who were orally heard in a mention case on Tuesday as to the status of the March 17 ruling and if orders given therein had been dealt with by FKF as applicants. 

The biggest tiff that has emerged afterwards has been flared after a response letter a week later by FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba to FKF CEO Barry Otieno to the effect that it did not recognise the SDT as an independent arbiter in football related disputes and further stating that the National Executive Committee were still legally in office despite SDT stating otherwise.

Lawyer Gradus Oluoch has however argued that the dispute at hand is entirely about jurisdiction and that SDT must be alive to that fact to protect their integrity. 

“What we have is a conflict that is of operational status and such are normal in sporting contests.

The dispute is essentially a two pronged issue; Territorial versus International Jurisdiction but the bottom-line is that the SDT is governed and was created by our national laws.

SDT is basically mandated constitutionally to determine sporting cases locally. With that said, I would expect the Tribunal to expressly confine itself to laws that govern sports in Kenya because what happens domestically is within their jurisdiction.

I feel FIFA is just engaging in politics in this matter but it is not healthy in the long run.

National legislation will always take precedence and in any case the ruling made last month was very clear on the way forward so FIFA is at fault for not obeying rules,” he told People Sport on phone.

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