FKF CEO Otieno defends decision to cancel league, announce winners

Thursday, May 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) CEO/General Secretary Barry Otieno. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno has defended the move by the federation to cancel the league as the most prudent and sensible reaction due to Covid-19.

This comes following a petition by Kenya Premier League (KPL) tabled at the Sports Dispute Tribunal (SDT) following the cancellation of the leagues 10 days ago without proper procedure by FKF.

Chemelil Sugar’s boss Moses Adagala, whose side will be relegated if the federation’s decision stands, feels that it would only have been fair if the league was annulled and be replayed next season after the coronavirus pandemic as it is being done in DR Congo.

The federation has defended their move arguing it was done on sporting merit and basis in accordance with FKF rules and regulations. 

The petitioners (Chemelil Sugar and KPL) challenged the procedure followed by FKF in calling for the closure of the Championship without consultation.

Otieno has accused KPL of crying foul yet they had no capability of proceeding with league owing to financial difficulty. 

“KPL must just read the FKF Rules & Regulations clauses we shared with them before the season began and this is what we used to declare Champions because of the Force Majeure rule.

As for the argument of annulment, it would not be fair at all on the team that was leading as at close of mid-season with all matches at that stage played.

In any event sporting merit has to be followed for clarity,” he said, pointing out that the rules of FKF did not envisage the aftermath in cup matches that were unfinished due to cancellations thus having no representation in next season’s CAF Confederations Cup was logical.

In addition, he stated that the issue at hand regarding coronavirus was not unique to Kenya arguing the move by KPL was in bad taste.

“We have to look at the reasons why we came up with this decision even as our legal team peruses the directive by SDT.

The leagues in Kenya were meant to be ending on May 29 and because of this pandemic we cannot meet that deadline coupled with the fact that we have a curfew extension until this weekend.

Even if the curfew was eased, it would mean we have 10 days to play with which is not tenable.

We have an issue with indefinite closure of stadia going by a circular by the Ministry of Sports so this reasoning by KPL is skewed,” he told People Sport in a telephone interview yesterday.

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